July 2, 2011

The Role Of Primary Drivers In Setting Auto Insurance Rates For Vehicles

There are a number of factors that go into determining the auto insurance rate for a family. These range from the type of vehicles that the family drives to what they use them for and the collective experience of all drivers in the home. As well, auto insurance rates for specific vehicles are determined by who is listed as the primary driver on a vehicle. Depending on their age and experience, as well as their stated purpose for driving the vehicle, there can be a number of significant changes to an insurance rate as a result. It is important to understand the role of these primary drivers before purchasing auto insurance.

A primary driver is the one who is going to drive a given vehicle in a home most of the time. When a policy is first created, the provider will ask who in the home will be the primary driver of a vehicle. If a home has two cars, there must be two primary drivers – one driver cannot be driving both at the same time. Other drivers in the home can be listed as secondary or tertiary drivers on the policy in order to let the insurance company know who is covered in the event of an accident. While being a non-primary driver does not mean that a vehicle can only be driven for a certain period of time or that the insurance company will not pay out in the event of an accident – it means that on the whole the primary driver should be the one to drive the vehicle the most.

Say that a primary driver states they are taking the vehicle, typically, to work and back each day for a total trip of 20 miles. While they can certainly do other things while out on the road, this gives the insurance company a baseline of what to expect the vehicle can be doing. If a secondary driver gets in an accident along or close to the route the primary driver takes to work, it will likely be processed as a simple claim. If a secondary driver crashes the vehicle while off-roading nowhere near the primary driver’s route, questions may arise. Though using the vehicle for a purpose other than stated will not result in an automatic claim denial, families should attempt to ensure that vehicles are generally used as described to the insurance company.

Often, a mother or father will be placed as a primary driver instead of a young man or woman in order to maintain a low auto insurance rate. While this can be a savvy way to save money, be aware of the view an insurance company takes of the primary driver.