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Occasional Driver Insurance Rates

Things to remember...

  • “Occasional driver” refers to any driver type who regularly drivers a vehicle but less than 25% of its operating time.
  • Teen drivers or senior driving living with other adults may qualify for occasional auto insurance.
  • Many discounts are available for occasional drivers.

Auto insurance can get pricey, especially when you add multiple drivers or don’t have the best driving record. Whether you have a new teen driver to add on your policy or an older adult who uses your car sometimes, you have options.

Occasional driver insurance rates are certainly lower than having a separate policy.

How much is insurance for an occasional driver? Are occasional drivers covered on your policy? We have the answers to your questions. We’ve done all the research to help you find cheap auto insurance for occasional drivers.

Are you looking to add a secondary driver to your auto insurance policy? Enter your ZIP code above to get free quotes on occasional driver insurance cost from multiple insurers.

Table of Contents

What is an occasional driver on insurance?

What does “occasional driver” mean? It’s just as it sounds. Occasional drivers can be anyone in the household who will be driving your vehicle, but not as the primary driver.

Some insurers define an occasional driver as someone who operates the vehicle less than 25% of the time, but other insurers just specify someone who rarely drives the vehicle.

The State of California Department of Insurance states that secondary drives on a policy may have a different level of protection than the primary driver on the same auto insurance policy.

It’s important to note that teenagers who are driving on a learner’s permit are automatically covered without being on your policy. That’s because they aren’t technically licensed yet, but they have to learn and insurers want to cover the vehicle.

However, if your teen causes an auto accident while driving with a permit in your vehicle, you’ll be responsible for the consequences.

Once your teen becomes fully licensed, they do need to have auto insurance coverage. Teens are considered high-risk drivers because of their lack of experience. This video talks a bit about what makes a high-risk driver, including teens.

This rate increase really shows how high rates are for teens.

Can I drive my parents’ car if I am not on the insurance?

It’s not a good idea for a teen to drive their parents’ car when they’re not on their insurance unless they’re still driving with a learner’s permit. Teenagers who are still on a restricted permit are covered on their parents’ auto insurance. As soon as teens get their license, they need to go onto their parents’ coverage.

The Center for Disease Control reports that six teens aged 16 to 19 die every day in motor vehicle crashes.

In fact, the IIHS says that 2,476 teens 13 to 19-years-old died in car accidents in 2018. This is a big factor in why insurance rates are so high, especially for males. Two out of three of the teens who died in 2018 were male, and it’s reflected in rates because young males are seen as the most high-risk demographic.

17-year-old males always pay the most, as they’re considered such a high risk. You can see in the table below how expensive auto insurance is for 17-year-olds versus their older counterparts.

Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates by Age & Gender
State Farm$5,953.88$7,324.34$2,335.96$2,554.56$2,081.72$2,081.72$1,873.89$1,873.89
American Family$5,996.50$8,130.50$2,288.65$2,694.72$2,202.70$2,224.31$1,992.92$2,014.38
Liberty Mutual$11,621.01$13,718.69$3,959.67$4,503.13$3,802.77$3,856.84$3,445.00$3,680.53
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The cheapest option for most teens who are living at home is to be added to their parents’ auto insurance policy, though it still may not be cheap. Each state varies, raising rates on average by 6 to 223%.

National Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates With Teen Added
Drivers on PolicyNational Average Annual Auto Insurance Rates
Adult only$1,447
Teen added$3,775
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Nationally, rates go up by 161% when you add a teen to your policy.

With multi-policy discounts and the fact that insurers can see a good driver on the policy means it will not be nearly so high to simply add them to a policy.

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Do all drivers in a household have to be insured?

Most insurers will ask you about other members of your household when applying for your auto insurance policy. Families with multiple drivers may need to list each family member as a secondary driver. This is the surest way to make sure occasional drivers are covered.

Can I add someone to my auto insurance that doesn’t live with me?

This can vary by insurer, but most of the time no. Unless it is a special circumstance — such as a college student who is away at school — insurers won’t allow you to add someone to your policy who does not live with you.

Can I add a car to my insurance that is not in my name?

Generally, insurers prefer you to only insure a vehicle in your name if it’s also registered in your name. That’s not to say you can’t at some places, but there may be easier workarounds like being added as an additional driver.

It’s really important to have coverage for all drivers and all vehicles because you’ll be at risk of paying out-of-pocket. Across the U.S., the III reports that one in eight drivers is driving without insurance. If they hit your vehicle, you’d have to pay out-of-pocket for repairs.

Senior drivers should be included if they’ll be occasionally driving a vehicle at your home. Each state’s laws vary on how frequently seniors need to renew their licenses, often with a vision test required at each renewal. As long as you have a licensed senior, it’s a good idea to put them on your auto insurance coverage.

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What auto insurance discounts are available for occasional drivers?

There are many occasional driver discounts, such as senior discounts and those for distant students. You can see in the table below the discounts that may be available for occasional drivers.

Auto Insurance Discounts That May Be Available to Occasional Drivers
CompaniesDistant StudentSenior Driver
21st Centuryn/aYes
AllstateYes - 35%Yes - 10%
American FamilyYesn/a
Country Financialn/an/a
Liberty Mutualn/an/a
MetLifen/aYes - 10%
NationwideYes - 10%n/a
Safe Auton/an/a
SafecoYes - 15%n/a
State FarmYesn/a
The Generaln/aYes - 5%
The HanoverYes - 5%Yes - 5%
The HartfordYes - 3%Yes
TravelersYes - 7%n/a
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There are many options out there, whether you’re looking for Safety Insurance or Geico occasional driver coverage. Even if you just want to know the occasional driver insurance cost for that trip to Ontario, we can help.

Enter your ZIP code below to get free quotes from multiple insurers for adding an occasional driver to your auto insurance policy.


  1. http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0250-insurers/0800-rate-filings/recent-change-auto-liability-insur.cfm
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/
  3. https://www.iihs.org/topics/fatality-statistics/detail/teenagers
  4. https://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-uninsured-motorists

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