What is primary & secondary driver insurance?

Written by natalie saar
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What is primary & secondary driver insurance?
Primary and secondary drivers insurance are important concepts to understand. (driving 4 image by Andrzej Borowicz from Fotolia.com)

Buying insurance can be can be tricky so it is important to know exactly what everything means in order to make the best decision. When buying an auto insurance policy, people have the option of putting a secondary driver on their insurance policy. The term "secondary insurance" does not exist, however, it refers to the coverage a secondary driver receives.

Auto Insurance

There are all kinds of auto insurance companies so there are some things people should keep in mind with regard to what is best for their families. First is how many people live in the house. There can not be more registered drivers than there are primary insurance holders in the house. This means anyone else who has a license can be considered a primary insurance holder.


The coverage between primary and secondary drivers does not change. So, the reason people initially choose themselves to be the primary driver is because this is the person whose driving record, credit, and make of car is taken into consideration. This should also be the person who drives the car most often.


A person who is listed as a secondary driver receives the same benefits as the person who is listed as primary. Even if a person does not drive the car often, it is important to list the person as a secondary driver because if he gets into an accident and is not listed on the insurance policy, the insurance company will not cover the accident. For example, if John and Jane have one car that John drives to work, but Jane occasionally uses to go to the store, then she should be listed on the policy even though she rarely uses it.

Owning Two Cars

When a couple or a household owns two cars, the same person can not be listed as the primary driver for both cars. If both people are registered drivers one person is listed as primary on one car and secondary on the other. Vice versa is true for the other partner. This way both people are on both policies should anything happen.

Rate Determinacy

A reason people choose to list people as secondary drivers rather than having their own policy is because listing another person as a primary driver will cost much more than just adding another driver. If a driver has a bad record or is a teenager, this will drive up the insurance rates. This is an important things to think about if there is only one car because the driver with the better record and credit will receive lower rates as the record of secondary drivers is not taken into much consideration.

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