Ask Anne Marie: Can I Remove a Secondary Driver from My Car Insurance Policy?

We frequently highlight auto insurance questions sent to our resident insurance expert, Anne Marie Thomas. From questions about fault determination in a collision when one of the drivers doesn’t have insurance to when a ticket drops off your driving record, Anne Marie answers them all.

This week’s question is about excluding a driver from inclusion on an auto policy and comes to us from Logan (who is asking for a friend):

“My friend’s little brother is a secondary driver and just got his first offence [for driving while using a] handheld device. Can my friend remove his little brother from the insurance so his premium won't go up?”

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An survey two years ago found that distracted driving is shockingly all too common. The survey found that 14% of Canadians admitted to texting or instant messaging while driving, 26% regularly check their messages while driving, and 41% have checked messages while stopped at a light.

Distracted driving is a significant safety issue on our roads. It’s entirely understandable, then, why a car’s owner might want to exclude a driver who can’t keep their hands off their phone from their policy, but there are ramifications to consider, explains Anne Marie.

“Your friend may be able to remove his brother from his policy, but the insurance company may require that he and his brother sign a document that states that the brother will NEVER, under any circumstances, drive the vehicle. It does not matter if your friend gives his brother permission to drive the vehicle or if there is a family emergency; he will not be permitted to drive no matter what happens or the circumstances.

“If the brother does drive the vehicle after the document is signed, there will be no insurance if he gets into an accident. This will leave your friend and/or his brother financially responsible for all damages and injuries from the collision. And, if your friend’s brother is lucky enough not to get into a collision but is pulled over again by police for some reason, he could face some profoundly serious fines and consequences.”