Getting Car Insurance for a Second Driver

Primary Driver

The primary driver, for the purpose of auto insurance, is the person who signs up for the coverage. It will be this person’s vehicle that is being insured and they will be listed on the paperwork. Typically the person that drives the most will be considered the primary driver. Your insurance agent will ask you about driving habits when you go to insure your car. If you buy your insurance online then there will be a form that lets you include the primary driver as well as additional spaces for secondary drivers.

Secondary Driver

A secondary driver will also be driving the car but not as much as the primary driver. If you and your spouse own two vehicles then you will have one person listed as a primary driver on the first car, and the other person listed as the primary driver on the second car.

Additional Drivers

If you have two cars but there are more than two people driving those cars in your home you will need to add these additional drivers onto your coverage. The two main drivers will be listed as primary drivers on their respective vehicles and all of the other drivers will be listed as secondary drivers on both of the vehicles. If the secondary drivers are only driving one of the vehicles then you’re better off only adding them as a secondary driver on that vehicle. It can be expensive to add drivers, especially teenagers; to your insurance coverage so some parents only let their children drive one car. Run this past your insurance agent before you sign the paperwork to make sure all of the drivers in your home are covered when driving your family’s vehicles.

Teenagers as Secondary Drivers

If you are a parent and you decide to add your children to the insurance coverage of only one of your cars, make sure that you are very strict about them only driving that car. If they get in an accident with another car your insurance may be voided because your child is not listed on the coverage for that vehicle.

Some parents choose to add their children onto their own insurance coverage, as secondary driver, while other parents require their children to buy their own insurance. There are pros and cons to both ways of getting coverage. It is usually cheaper for a teenager to be added to a parent’s policy especially if they have only been driving for a year or two. Teenagers should also look into discounts for having good grades and for taking driving courses to improve their skills on the road. Unfortunately, young people and inexperienced drivers pay some of the highest premiums in Canada. There isn’t much you can do about that either – besides practicing safe driving and waiting for a few years to pass.


When determining premiums, the insurance company will use the driving record, age, vehicle usage, and location of the primary driver to calculate the total car insurance costs. If you have additional drivers in your home make sure they are included in your coverage.