Insurance Terms Defined – Principle or Primary Driver
The insurance industry is rife with terminology and terms that might be confusing to those not versed in insurance lingo. For this reason we have been creating posts defining common terms, in addition to our full glossary of insurance terms on our website.
Recently here on the blog, we have been talking about secondary and occasional drivers and we thought to round out the topic we should offer a definition that is at the crux of this consideration – what is the principle or primary driver?
Principle or primary driver defined
The principle or primary driver, simply put, is the one that drives the car most often. This is the person that is listed as such on the car insurance policy and it is this driver, and their driving record, that sets the rates for coverage. There is always a primary driver listed on a policy.
What does this matter for car insurance in Ontario?
In the situation where there is one and only person who drives the vehicle, setting the principle driver is basic stuff.
Where things start to get a little more complicated is where there is more than one person who uses the car – this is where how the principle driver is set and who is listed on the policy as a secondary driver is important.
Some things to consider:
~ When it comes to car ownership, who owns the car does not necessarily mean they are the principle driver. What it comes down to is who drives the car the most, period. And if there is more than one person who owns the car, again the main user is the one that should be listed as the principle.
~ In Ontario, anyone in your household should be listed on your policy. So the principle driver is set, and then the rest of the family is added as secondary.
~ Having accurate secondary drivers on your plan should not be a second thought. Yes, listing the principle driver is a basic requirement for coverage and this of course must be accurate, but ensuring that you have the proper occasional drivers listed too is just as important. You want to be sure that anyone that gets behind the wheel of your car has proper coverage in place – having a claim denied because your insurer suspects a misrepresentation of usage or drivers is something you must avoid at all costs.
~ When it comes to setting car insurance rates, it is the primary driver that weighs most heavily, but secondary drivers will also be taken into consideration as we discuss here.
We have provided the definitions in this blog post for general information purposes only. They are not meant to be complete descriptions to cover any and all terms, conditions and exclusions that are found in different insurance policies. If there is any inconsistency between this information and the definitions in your policy, it is your policy that governs. Contact your insurance broker if you have any questions or need any clarification about your particular policy and the definitions therein.