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Help! How Do I Get A High-Risk Driver Off Of My Policy?

June 9, 2014

A common source of confusion in the auto insurance world is the occasional driver (or additional driver). Many people have occasional drivers listed on their auto insurance policies. While your insurance premiums will take into consideration occasional drivers, having one with a clean driving record won’t negatively impact your premiums all that much. However, if you have a high risk driver listed on your policy then you can expect your premiums to increase. So what can you do if a high risk occasional driver is causing your premiums to skyrocket despite your own clean driving record?

What is an occasional driver?

Any driver that lives in the same household as you will be listed as an occasional driver on your policy. Insurance companies require that you disclose all licensed drivers in your household as well as any other frequent drivers of your vehicle. If you do not disclose this information and that person has an accident in your vehicle, then your insurance company may have grounds to terminate your insurance agreement leaving you uncovered. This means that you could be financially responsible for all damages and injuries from the accident. Just as it is with primary drivers, the cost of the premium depends on the driving record and experience of the driver.

What is a high risk driver?

Insurance companies rate drivers based on their driving record and insurance history. Insurers will look at a driver’s records, history and experience and then make a judgment based on a variety of factors. These possible factors include being a new driver, having multiple traffic tickets, or multiple at-fault accidents. Serious law violations, such as impaired driving, will also likely put you in the high risk category. Even failures to pay past premiums can make you a high risk driver.

Can I exclude a high risk occasional driver from my policy?

Yes. The first, most extreme, option is to have the high-risk driver move out of the home. However, the “moving out” option is often not a reasonable option. Your second option is to formally “exclude” the driver from the policy. All you need to do is have both the policyholder and high risk driver sign this insurance form promising that the risky driver will never drive the vehicle—no matter what happens or the circumstances. With this in place, your premiums will no longer reflect the high-risk driver’s premium assessment.

It’s important to understand however, that if the high risk driver ever drives the car, he/she and your car will not be covered under any insurance. This will leave you and/or the driver responsible for all possible damage and injuries from an accident. And if they’re pulled over for a traffic violation, could lead to some serious fines and consequences. In a nutshell, this person must never drive the vehicle.

Can I still lend my car out?

You cannot loan your car to someone you have formally excluded. However, you are free to loan out your car to any other licensed driver as long as they’re not using it as part of a regular routine. As the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) writes: “If your friend uses your car every Friday to go grocery shopping, then he/she must be named on your insurance policy as an occasional driver.” Just as if you were driving, this driver will be covered under your insurance. However, if that person gets in any accidents or incidents with your vehicle, it will go on YOUR record and YOUR premiums will be affected. As the IBC states, “When you lend your car, you are also lending your good driving record.” Make sure to contact your insurance provider with any questions you may have.

If you or someone on your policy is a high risk driver, the most important thing is to take great care in being a safe and careful driver. Whether you’re a high-risk or low-risk driver, insurance companies will have different rates so make sure to shop around for the best deals with InsuranceHotline.com.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    You can certainly discuss removing collision from the vehicle. Speak with your insurance broker to see how much it would save.


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Thanks for the good information!

  • DK

    Hello, I had a question too and thought you could advise me. I am sharing a car with my room mate who happens to be a high risk driver. I am enlisted as primary and she as the secondary driver. If she were to get involved in an accident due to her own fault, I understand that the premium for this car would go up. But my question is – if I buy a new car with a new policy with me as the sole driver in future, will the claims made by my roommate on the present car affect my own driving history assessment? Basically, does enlisting her as a secondary driver affect my driving history as well? Or just the said car’s premium?

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    Most of the time, if a driver has an at fault accident with your vehicle, you will be charged for that payout unless you can prove that the driver of your car has their own policy and is being charged for the loss there.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    If the owner of the vehicle has his own policy he can be removed from yours.

  • Alan M.

    Thanks for your comment, and that is helpful to know that we can take him off our insurance. There is the other question in the example that the three remaining divers are all on one car instead of two drivers for each car. How will this situation impact going to one car in the family?

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    Hi Again

    Your insurance company will most likely charge you just for the occasional drive that will generate the higher premium.


  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    Not all insurance companies will calculate a refund mid term the same way. You are best to double check with your insurance broker how your current insurance company will refund you any unearned premium.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    In Ontario, once your insurance company has been notified of a collision it will be on your record and you may see an increase regardless of whether or not there was any payout.

  • Joanne P.

    That’s what I was afraid of! thanks!

  • Bob

    Hello everyone, I was recently pulled over by police for a random check ….they run my plates and found that my validation sticker was not matching the plate ….I know that, because mine was expired and I just took one from another car. But the real problem was that I did not have the proof of insurance too….got nailed with 4 tickets and my car was towed to home…I have no prior traffic violations for 15 years of driving, and I was fully covered for a year with my personal car but had to cancel the insurance because instead of reducing the premiums they sent me a later for increasing it – reason:to many new drivers in my Toronto neighborhood !?!
    I was not covered with personal insurance for exactly a month, but I`m listed in my employer’s commercial policy as a courier driver. I insured the car right the next day after the tickets – better late than never….Is there a way my charges to be dropped for the first offense of this type or anything that wold help me in court. And how long will this offense will stay on my record if I got charged…..does my personal insurance will affect my work -commercial insurance in some way.
    Thank you, Bob

  • jenny

    My 21 year old daughter has had 3 accidents – one minor in a parking lot, and 2 weather related – all her fault, and one 10K over speeding ticket. She is a student and works part time, and for her to have insurance on a 14 year old small car she has to pay over $8000 per year? Do they not make any allowances for weater related (i.e. snow storm) accidents? I think this is an awful rate to pay for a student. How long will she have to pay such high rates?

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    The accidents will stay on her record for 6 years. She should see a bit of a reduction though when she turns 25.

  • stephanie

    We got pulled over by the opp and clueless to why. He asked for the drivers liscence and insurance which we quickly provided. Then the officer stated that we had no insurance .We paid a year in advance and provided a copy of the receipt to the officer .He even came to court with us .That being said now we cannot get insurance as this is on our record even though the insurance company refused to provide reason to why they cxld our policy with no prior tickets or violations

  • Jessie

    I have been living permanently separate from my spouse for more than a year. His licence was suspended for proof of alcoholism. Our insurance policy lists me as sole driver of the vehicule which he then took. How do I best correct this?

  • Katerina

    If I have a secondary driver on my policy who has recently been in an accident ( and has already had one accident prior to this) and I remove them from my policy immediately afterward, will this still cause in increase in my premiums? Thanks in advance.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com

    It is very likely that your premium will increase as a result of both of these.
    If the secondary driver has insurance and can prove that he/she is being charged for his accident there then, you may not see an increase.

  • disqus_xBNjTPa9vm

    If an occasional driver has an accident, will it affect my premiums even if he is no longer listed as an occasional driver? Living in AB, by the way.

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    Thanks for sharing information about insurance topic. I will visit again on your blog.

  • @emmaleechase

    Young Drivers has a program called CogniFit. I’d really recommend it to someone who is accident prone, if they want to continue to drive. Might save a life.

  • @emmaleechase

    Has she taken Young Drivers of Canada’s courses? I’d really recommend it!