Legally everyone is required to have automobile insurance to drive a vehicle, so obtaining car insurance is important. However, you are not required to purchase more coverage than you actually need. Rates may vary based on the company that insures you; the age and sex of the insured driver; past accidents or claims; and, other personal aspects pertaining to the driver. One of these factors is whether the driver is considered an occasional driver.
Who Qualifies as an Occasional Driver?
An occasional driver is someone who is not the principal driver of the vehicle he operates. The occasional driver operates the car less frequently than the principal driver, and often cannot drive the car more than 25% of the time to qualify for an occasional driver car insurance rate. Some insurance companies limit the occasional driver to operating the vehicle no more than once a week and, therefore, often he can be insured to drive the vehicle at a lower insurance rate.
Shopping for Insurance for an Occasional Driver
Different car insurance companies have varied rates for occasional drivers; some do not have the classification at all. A common situation where a person might qualify for occasional driver insurance is when a student is in college or abroad. Contact an insurance agent to discuss the circumstances under which a driver may qualify for this type of insurance. The estimated amount of time a person uses the vehicle is likely to affect his rate. To add an occasional driver to a policy, talk to the insurance company that issued the policy to find out if it offers this type of coverage and obtain a quote.
Who Does Not Qualify as an Occasional Driver?
An occasional drive usually must live in your household. Additionally, insurance companies often will not allow an occasional driver to be listed if there are more vehicles than drivers in the household.
Reasons to Obtain Occasional Driver Insurance
Occasional driver insurance is more economical than insurance for primary drivers. When drivers operate a vehicle less frequently than a primary driver, the risk of their having an accident is reduced because they are not on the road as often. Therefore, the cost of insuring them is lower and they customarily get the same coverage at a cheaper rate.
Typically, you can insure as many drivers as you think may be using the vehicle. Insuring a driver under occasional driver status can be a way to ease the financial burden of insuring multiple drivers, especially if these additional drivers have limited access to a vehicle and do not own it. Adding an occasional driver might be the best way to insure a new or infrequent driver in your household.