Primary and Secondary Driver Insurance

Primary driver is the person who uses the vehicle the most and determining who it would be affects auto insurance costs with most companies as they often attach a primary driver to an auto insurance policy to base their premiums on. When there is one car and driver to insure this isn’t a problem. However, It may be important for a family with more than one car and driver to determine who will be the primary for each car. Otherwise, the insurer can pick the riskiest person as a primary driver for the riskiest car and this can result in higher premiums.

For example, if you have 3 cars and 2 parents and a teenager as drivers, parents should allocate the cheapest to insure vehicle for the teenager’s use and name the child as the primary driver for it. This is actually a common practice and some parents go even further. Both parents may have expensive cars and adding a teenage driver onto all the car insurance policies can be expensive.

Therefore, they often pick the cheapest car and select the teen driver as the primary driver of that car. Because it is an old car, they buy liability only vehicle insurance for it to save money. Then, they can actually exclude the teen driver from policies covering their own cars to save even more money. They can still be on the policy of the teenager and this may work out cheaper than if the teenager was there on his/her own.

It is often necessary to be creative when you have a teenage driver in your household because adding them to your auto insurance can double your premiums. In the above example, there is no need to suffer expensive rates on all of your policies when you can make sure the teenage driver will only drive his/her own car and not parents’.

Once the primary driver is determined the rest of the drivers listed on the policy would be secondary drivers. Usually, primary drivers have a heavier influence on the premiums. For example, if there were a parent and young child on the policy and the parent was chosen as a primary driver, the policyholder is telling the insurer that the parent is the main user of the automobile so premiums should reflect this heavier usage.

However, some automobile insurers may actually base their rates on the highest risk driver when there is one car and two drivers like a parent and a teenage child. In this scenario, they may consider that even though the vehicle is mainly used by the parent, the risk of the teenage driver causing an accident is still very high and therefore they may want to be fully compensated for it.

Usage is an important consideration when it comes to calculating vehicle insurance premiums.  It is important to know who is the main operator and therefore primary driver of the automobile.

Primary driver is the person who will be using the vehicle most. This is usually the owner, but it doesn’t have to be. You need to be honest about who will use it more, rather than trying to work out the cheapest option. Saying that your daughter or son will be the main user may cost you more than saying you are the primary. However, you should be honest about it if you bought the car for them.

Insurers mainly look at the age, history, credit score and other details like occupation and homeownership of the policyholder when they give a quote. Secondary drivers can influence the costs a lot especially if they are young. But it won’t be as much as if they were the primary.

Secondary driver is simply anyone else included on the policy after the primary driver. Usually, anyone living with the policyholder in the same household and has a driver’s license should be included. Often couples are listed on each other’s policies. For example, if you and your partner have own vehicles, each of you would be listed on each other’s coverage even though each of you would be the policyholder in respective cars.

Most policies cover occasional users even though they are not named on the policy. But those are the people who happen to ride the auto on an off chance, with permission. You should always check that you have coverage for occasional motorists before giving them permission.

Adding a secondary driver to insurance is likely to increase premiums. Cost of adding a teenager to your policy is often substantial. However, insuring a teenager under parents’ auto insurance is on average 62% cheaper than buying a separate policy for them. You may also save money by adding an older and a better driver, especially if you are a young policyholder.  And it may not affect the premium much if the additional person is similar age and has the same driving experience and history as the primary driver.