Who can I allow to drive my car?

Before you allow anyone to drive your car, whether that be an occasional driver or someone else borrowing it just once, it’s always helpful to know what’s covered. That way, you can you can let family and friends drive your car without causing you stress.

At DPM Insurance Group, our brokers and CSRs are prepared to answer your automotive insurance questions any time, but here’s some general information that might answer your most common concerns when lending your car to someone.

In Ontario, your automotive insurance policy protects both the driver and the car. Where things need to be made clear is when someone other than the primary driver gets behind the wheel of that vehicle. So, you should know the secondary and occasional driver insurance rules in Ontario to protect yourself at all times.

Primary drivers

In simple terms, the primary driver is the person who drives the insured vehicle more than anyone else. The primary driver does not have to be the owner of the vehicle. For instance, a parent can own a vehicle that is mostly driven by their child, making the child the primary driver. The base insurance rate for a vehicle is calculated on the primary driver’s record.

Secondary drivers

A secondary driver is someone who uses a vehicle often, but doesn’t use it the most. These drivers need to be added to the insurance policy for that vehicle. The insurance company will look at the driving record of secondary drivers and will usually charge an additional premium since the risk increases when someone other than the primary driver uses the vehicle.

Insurance companies can deny claims if a driver isn’t truthful about the level of risk for the policy. Adding the appropriate people to your list protects you from that possibility because it paints a clear picture about the level of risk tied to your policy.

Occasional drivers

Not everyone who drives your car necessarily needs to be named on your policy.  Relatives visiting from out of town for the weekend and wants to do some sightseeing or a neighbor who borrows your pickup to run an does not need to be named as a secondary driver. But if a relative uses the car a few times a week, a roommate uses the car regularly for shopping trips, or a young driver in the household has access to the vehicle, they are not considered “occasional” drivers.

For example, someone using your truck to move their furniture to their new home wouldn’t need to be put on your insurance. If that person borrowing your truck to move gets into an accident, your insurance policy should cover the costs in the event of an accident as long as the driver has a Canadian driver’s license, has permission to use the vehicle, follows the rules stated in your insurance policy (personal versus business use for example) and doesn’t participate in any illegal activities such as reckless, distracted, or impaired driving.

What will it cost?

Adding someone to your policy usually results in an increase to your rates, but exactly how much varies depending on the driver being added. If they are experienced and have a clean driving record, the increase will be minimal. But if the driver is young, inexperienced or has demerit points, it’s going to be more. The range can differ between a few dollars a month for a low-risk driver to hundreds of dollars more each month for a high-risk driver.

There is a common misconception that if your friend drives your car and gets into an accident it won’t affect your insurance premium. But if your insurance company is covering the damage, your insurance premium is likely to increase. If an accident were to occur, then it would affect your insurance as if you were driving your car.

Anyone with a valid license who drives your car is technically covered by your auto insurance policy. But there are several considerations to this that are important to understand as outlined above. No one at DPM Insurance Group is going to tell you what to do with your car, but we need to understand how the car is being used and who usually uses it to make sure you’re covered properly in the event of a claim.

If you have questions about whether or not to add someone as a secondary driver to your policy, call one of our six offices and a broker or CSR will be happy to answer your questions.

All the necessary contact information can be found here: https://dpmins.com/locations/

Blenheim Office

24 Marlborough St. N., Box 479
Blenheim, ON N0P1A0

Phone: 519-676-8159
Fax: 519-676-0020

Chatham Office

250 St. Clair St.
Chatham, ON N7L 3J9

Phone: 519-352-4343
Toll Free: 1-800-561-4949
Fax: 519-352-6484

Essex Office

29 Talbot St. N, Box 69
Essex, ON N8M 2Y1

Phone: 519-776-6457
Fax: 519-776-7400

Harrow Office

65 King St. W., Box 790
Harrow, ON N0R 1G0

Phone: 519-738-2277
Fax: 519-738-2279

Tilbury Office

59 Mill St. E, Box 1239
Tilbury, ON N0P 2L0

Phone: 519-682-0202
Fax: 519-682-2391

Wallaceburg Office

403 Wellington St.
Wallaceburg, ON N8A 2Y2

Phone: 519-627-1777