Your son or daughter has their G2 license, and they are ready to cruise—but car insurance for young drivers can be tricky for parents to juggle without understanding how it works. It’s an exciting stage of life; we all remember how grown-up and independent we felt being able to borrow the family car. Driving is a privilege and should be treated as such, after all.
It’s also a good opportunity for parents to teach and reinforce the life lessons and responsibility that come with being a driver, because speeding tickets can stay on their record for years.
Young driver’s insurance
You want your children to be independent and responsible, but will their driving habits affect your insurance?
The answer is yes, generally speaking. In Ontario, all residents of your home who use your vehicles must be on your insurance policy. That means the actions of secondary drivers do affect your policy.
However, there’s an interesting option that you may not know about. Ontario’s OPCF 28A form allows you to sidestep the problem of a lead-footed teenager driving up your insurance rates. You can submit the OPCF 28A form stating that your son or daughter is living in your home but not driving your car (and never will until you notify your insurance provider otherwise).
This means that you are clear with your insurance company and your premiums will not be affected (and you won’t need young driver insurance). However, the child in question will not be permitted to drive your car under any circumstances.
Remember: tickets don’t magically vanish
By teaching your children good driving habits and road responsibility, you are setting them up to be responsible in other areas of life. Honesty is important when you have a young, secondary driver on your policy.
If your child gets a speeding ticket and tells you about it, this is a great opportunity for a teachable lesson about accountability and financial responsibility.
If your child gets a speeding ticket and doesn’t tell you about it, there’s a lesson to be learned, too. Despite your child’s best efforts, that ticket is not going away for 3 years. It is your responsibility to know the records of all secondary drivers on your policy.
Your child’s mishaps can become your financial problems when your car insurance premium goes up.
Responsible driving offers many lessons
As a parent, the best thing you can do is talk to your child about the responsibilities of driving.
If you are generous enough to have them as a secondary driver on your policy, talk to them about what this means, what to do after an accident, and how to handle receiving a speeding ticket.
They should be aware of the costs and the consequences of incurring speeding tickets when they get behind the wheel. It might be a good time to touch on the cost of fuel as well, if you notice the tank always seems to be empty! In making them financially responsible for their mistakes, you are providing important life lessons about accountability that will serve them well in the future.
See what your insurance rates look like with your young driver on the policy. What else would you do with 3 minutes?