Are you a primary or secondary driver?

Written by Penny Gusner on September 17, 2012 & Posted in Auto Insurance

You see the terms primary driver and secondary driver tossed around in your car insurance policy, but do you really know what they mean?

The difference between primary and secondary can mean hundreds of dollars in premiums.

For each car in the household, there should be one primary driver -- and only one primary driver -- listed on the auto insurance policy.

The person listed as this principal driver should be the individual who operates that particular car the most. This driver is then rated as a full-time operator for that vehicle. All other drivers on the car insurance policy would be listed as secondary drivers to this car.

A secondary driver, also referred to as an occasional driver, still operates the car on occasion and needs to be covered to use it. Car insurance rates are usually lower for this person than the primary user.

If there is the same number of cars and drivers on your policy, then it's usually pretty simple to match each driver with a car, then list each driver also as a secondary driver on all other vehicles.

It can, however, get tricky deciding who the primary driver of what car is when the number of cars and drivers listed on an auto insurance policy isn't the same.

For example, if there are two parents and two licensed teens in a household and three cars, then each parent would normally be the primary driver of one car each and then the parents would need to assign one of the teens to be the primary driver of the third car and the other teenager would be secondary to all cars and primary to none.

If there are more cars than drivers, then a driver can be listed as being the primary driver of more than one car. So, if a household of three licensed drivers has four cars, then it's possible for the father to be listed as the primary driver of his daily driver and one other vehicle, like his weekend-only vehicle.

If you have any confusion on who on your policy is listed as the primary driver of what car, review your policy and then contact your auto insurance agent if you think any changes should be made.


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