Turning 16 is a milestone in Canada. A driver’s licence means more freedom and is the first stepping stone to becoming an adult. It also paves the way for a conversation regarding auto insurance and chances are you’ll be adding your child to your policy. What does this mean for you?
Adding an occasional driver
Adding an occasional driver to your auto insurance policy will generally increase your insurance premium. Most likely, your provider will assess the risks involved with your new driver and their driver profile.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), “Teen drivers have crash rates nearly 4 times those of drivers 20 and older per mile driven.” Which is why young drivers cost more to insure. That is, until they turn 25.
Adding your child as an occasional driver should cost significantly less than it would for them to get their own policy. Having them listed as an occasional driver under your insurance would also allow them to drive any vehicle listed on your policy. This could make doing the car shuffle a lot smoother.
Keep in mind, if your child is the full-time driver of a vehicle on your policy, they may cost you significantly more to insure than as a part-time driver.
Regardless of the additional cost, it’s a good opportunity to teach your child responsibility. Consider having him or her pay the amount of the premium increase so they can prepare for what’s ahead.
Age and experience matter
Age and driving experience are important factors that determine how much of an increase you’ll see on your insurance rate. Adding a young driver (16 to 24), will automatically cost you more than it would if you were to add someone 25 or older, based on their driving history and experience.
However, a 25-year-old driver who just started driving would generally be inexperienced. They would likely pay a higher premium.
Driving is a privilege
Driving is a privilege, not a right. That’s why it is important to instill good driving behaviour from the start. However, if your teen picks up bad driving habits, it could impact the good standing you have with your insurance company.
This can be frustrating if you reside in Ontario. You must insure all drivers who reside under your roof and use your vehicle on your policy — fortunately there’s an exception to this rule.
Your insurance company may allow you to apply an OPCF 28A Excluded Driver form to your policy. This form requires that both you and the excluded driver (your child) sign the document. The OPCF 28A states that if the excluded driver drives the vehicle, there will be no coverage for property damage and bodily injury, damage to your vehicle, and most of the accident benefits coverage. So, if you and your child sign that document, make sure they don’t drive your vehicle.
Before taking this step, remind your child just how much insurance can cost if they aren’t listed on your policy. If they are under 25 or haven’t taken a driver’s education course, the difference could cost them thousands of dollars per year. It may just be enough to get them to drive safer and more responsibly.
Your policy, your problem
As the policy holder, know that you are fully responsible for knowing the records of all secondary drivers on your policy. You could face an increase due to your occasional driver’s mistake.
For example, if your child gets a speeding ticket it may surface when your insurance provider is reviewing your policy upon renewal or when you prepare to switch insurance companies.
On a more serious note, a distracted driving infraction could cost you any conviction-free discounts you may have and increase your insurance by up to 18 percent. So, before you add your child as an occasional driver, make sure they are aware of all the consequences of their actions.
Shop around for insurance coverage
Take this as an opportunity to compare auto insurance rates. Your insurance will increase when adding your young driver to your policy. However, some insurance providers offer good student discounts and lower rates to those with a driver’s education certificate. Compare quotes at InsuranceHotline.com to make sure you are getting the best rate for you and your teen.
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