Car insurance companies take a good number of factors into account when giving a person a quote for coverage on a vehicle. Things like age of the driver, the type of car, the location of the car, driving record, and gender are all included in the pricing decision of these companies. In a house with multiple people, an insurance company needs to define the principal driver. The principal driver on an insurance policy is the person the policy will be under. The driver who uses the car most often is considered the primary or principal, while everyone else in the house is considered occasional. This has a big impact on car insurance pricing. Having occasional drivers on the policy is not a decision left up to the policy holder.
When a car insurance company looks at a household, it assumes that any member of the household has access to the vehicle. Even if the car belongs to a parent and a child with a license is not supposed to be driving it, access is assumed. They understand that kids do things that they are not supposed to, so they cover the car for people from the household that have access to it. Also, something might happen that causes someone else to drive a car they do not have a policy on. This makes having a principal driver listed more important.
The listed principal driver on a car insurance policy is the one that is considered for billing reasons. The principal driver is the one that the insurance company will look into when offering quotes. If that person has a good driving record, it will be factored into the quote. If a couple were to have only one car, it would make sense to have the policy under the person with the better driving record. For parents, they can have their children covered on the policy while not having to get separate, more expensive policies in the names of the children.
Since the principal driver is the one the car insurance policy will be under, it is still important for the people listed as occasional drivers to be careful behind the wheel. If an occasional driver were to cause an accident, the rates of the car insurance will still increase. The principal driver also has the option of excluding drivers from a policy. They can exclude people from coverage if they would like to, but it is not recommended to use this on people in the same household. Driving record has a major impact on the price of car insurance, so having a principal driver of a vehicle with a good record can bring down costs.