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Car Insurance Basics: Excluded Drivers

As your family grows, so do the number of licensed drivers living under one roof. For many Canadian automobile owners, this means adding new drivers to their existing car insurance policy is a frequent chore. But, in some cases, there may be someone in your home who you believe doesn't need to be added to your policy. Is it time to ask your auto insurance provider for an excluded driver endorsement?

Who Qualifies as an Excluded Driver?

All car insurance providers in Ontario are already required to offer excluded driver endorsements, but who qualifies as an excluded driver in your home? This term refers to anyone who you do not want to carry liability coverage for and who will not operate your vehicle under any circumstances. For example, a roommate who has their own insurance coverage and doesn't operate your vehicle should qualify as an excluded driver. 

Who Must Be Listed on Your Policy?

In reality, anyone who can and will drive your vehicle should be listed on your car insurance policy. For insurance providers, that can mean anyone who has the ability to drive regardless of whether they have a valid license or not. Even if someone living in the home will "never drive the car," they could be needed to do so in an emergency situation.

Some car insurance providers may consider someone eligible for coverage even if they only live with you part time, like a stepchild or college student. Other persons who may be required to be listed on your policy can include co-signers like a parent or grandparent who live in a separate home. 

Should You Exclude a Specific Driver?

If someone has a bad driving record and listing them on your policy will cause your insurance rates to spike, it may be a good idea to exclude them from the policy altogether. Just remember that anyone excluded from your policy will not be protected under your liability coverage in the event that they drive your vehicle and get into an accident. Depending on your insurance provider, you may be asked to submit proof of insurance for any drivers not listed on your policy.

In some areas, excluded drivers have zero coverage, but in other provinces, limited liability coverage for excluded drivers may be required. As a rule of thumb, it is always a good idea to check with your insurance provider on which options are available to you before making any changes to your current policy.