Anyone who has ever insured a car will remember being asked who the “regular driver” would be. But the real question is, ‘Why does it matter?’

Why is “regular driver” such a big deal

It matters because insurers view the regular driver of an insured car as the person who drives it the most in a given monthly period. With that in mind, the regular driver is important because that is the person who is in control of the insured vehicle most of the time.

Unfortunately, a lot of customers don’t understand the importance of this question and later regret that they gave the wrong person’s details to benefit from a lower premium. The regular driver of the car plays a significant role in calculating the correct premium and determining the conditions of cover.

Why does it matter who the regular driver is?

Car insurance premiums are based on two components: the probability that an insured event (accident, theft, hail damage etc.) happens, and the expected cost of the damages in the event of a claim.

Let’s focus on car accidents to illustrate the importance of the regular driver. Based on historic data, insurers know that someone with very little driving experience is much more likely to cause a car accident than someone who has been driving for decades and who has a lot of experience in handling a vehicle, navigating different road conditions and anticipating the behaviour of other motorists on the road.

Therefore, someone who recently obtained their licence typically pays a higher premium than someone who has had their licence for say 20 years because the chances that they could be involved in an accident are higher.

When you take out a car insurance policy, the insurer needs to determine what the expected claim cost per annum would be in order to calculate an appropriate premium. To do that, amongst other things, the insurer asks you who the regular driver will be and calculates the premium based on that individual’s risk profile. Giving misleading information about who the regular driver is, is one of the common reasons claims are rejected in case of an accident.

Always be on the safe side

In a case where a car is used by multiple people, like in a family setting, insurers advise their customers to inform them who drives it the most during any given monthly period.

Notifying the insurer of who the regular driver of the car is, is important which is why the MiWay Blink App, which registers customers by clicking through a few screens on their mobile devices, requires the customer to confirm this information upfront before continuing with the process.

It is also important to inform your insurer when the regular driver of the vehicle changes over time so that they can calculate a new premium based on the new risk profile to ensure that you are fully covered in the event of a claim.

Dishonesty can cost you more in the case of accident

Some customers are tempted into registering the wrong regular driver in order to reduce monthly premiums. For example, a father who notes himself as the regular driver on his son’s car insurance to benefit from a lower premium; however, dishonesty about who the regular driver is could lead to a claim being rejected (i.e. giving out misleading information when the policy was taken out).

Does the regular driver have to be the policyholder?

Not at all, otherwise members of your household would be excluded from being registered as regular drivers.  The policyholder has the responsibility to provide the insurer with the details of the regular driver of each vehicle insured on the policy. This doesn’t mean that someone other than the regular driver isn’t allowed to drive the vehicle. We all have times when we may require our friends or family to drive our cars; however to be on the safe side, none of them should drive the vehicle more often than the noted regular driver.

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