If you’ve ever shopped for car insurance quotes, you’ll know that among the first questions asked is this: ‘Who is the regular driver of the vehicle?’ And more often than not, someone else could be driving your car more than you but you’ve listed yourself as a regular driver.

Many customers wonder if the answer matters and why. The short answer is that it does matter, because the insurer calculates the risk and the premium on the basis of who the regular driver is.

What does ‘regular driver’ mean?

Insurance companies view the regular driver of a car as the person who drives it most often in a given period, usually a month.  This can be tricky if your family has one car that is shared between spouses or between a parent and child, but it should almost always be clear who drives the car regularly. If you’re in any doubt, tell your insurer about any individuals who drive the car on a regular basis.

Why do some policyholders name the wrong regular driver?

Because each premium is individually calculated – for example, younger drivers usually pay higher premiums than their parents do (and consumers are aware of this) – people are tempted to be economical with the truth. For example, a father might claim to be the regular driver of a car that he’s actually buying for his teenage son to avoid paying a higher premium.

What’s wrong with doing that?

The insurer will always confirm the regular driver as part of the claims assessment process – if they discover that the correct driver was not noted on the policy, the claim may not be paid out or could be paid out at a reduced amount.

Does this mean I can’t ever let another person drive my car?

Not at all. It’s perfectly normal that sometimes you might want to let your spouse, child or a friend drive your car.  If your car is involved in an accident while someone else is driving, your insurer most likely will still cover you, provided, of course, the correct regular driver is noted, the driver was driving legally, and the policy conditions were adhered to. You may have to pay an additional excess, depending on the terms of your policy, but you will be covered in the event of a valid claim.

Some insurers may ask you to name all the drivers; check with your insurer or your policy document to be 100% sure.

Full disclosure is always the best strategy

With all insurance matters, the bottom line is to always be honest. If your student son or daughter is going to be the regular driver of the car, being honest about it has two benefits:

  • One, your claims are likely not to be rejected.
  • Two, your child will have an opportunity to build up an insurance history that will stand them in good stead when they want to take out insurance in their own right in the future.

Remember to update your insurance policies

You should always update your cover to reflect new developments in your lifestyle and assets.

  • if you pass the car on to someone else in your household, don’t forget to update the details of the regular driver with your insurer.
  • If you’re going to be away for a couple of months and someone else will be using your car in that period, or
  • if you have moved to a new address or changed jobs (which results in a change to daytime parking arrangements or what the vehicle is being used for), let your insurer know, and

When it comes to your car insurance policy ensure it’s up-to-date with the relevant information. This way you never have to worry about having a claim rejected.

Article credit https://midrandreporter.co.za/218924/regular-drivers-matter/