Are you renewing or taking out insurance for the first time?
Perhaps you’re thinking of lending your car to your friend or relative? If so, you should consider named driver insurance.
What is a Named Driver?
A named driver (or additional driver) is someone added to another person’s insurance policy.
They can include friends, family, a partner or even someone connected through work. Although they are not the main driver of the car, they can still benefit from the same level of cover.
Remember that it’s a legal requirement to have third-party only
insurance in Northern Ireland. So, if you plan on driving another person’s vehicle then you must ensure that you are covered under their insurance.
It’s important to note that the main driver or policyholder is the one who does most of the driving. Be careful to avoid fronting which is a type of motor insurance fraud. This happens when the policyholder claims to be the main driver of a car when in fact it’s the named driver who uses the car most often. Fronting is becoming more widespread at the moment due to the cost of living crisis and high premiums for younger drivers but it is fraud so please avoid it!
How Do You Add a Named Driver to Insurance?
For an existing policy, usually you can contact your insurance company to add someone to your policy.
For a new policy, there will be an option to include an additional driver on your policy during the quoting process.
To add a driver, you’ll need the following details:
- Full name
- Date of birth
- Driving experience
- Claims made in the last five years
- Motoring convictions in the last five years
Is a Named Driver Fully Comprehensive?
The type of insurance the named driver will be covered under is the same as that of the main driver.
Therefore, if the main driver has third-party only insurance, then the additional driver will only have TPO cover too. Same concept applies if the main driver is fully comp, the additional driver will also be covered under fully comprehensive insurance too.
Named drivers are also typically covered for optional extras such as breakdown or roadside assistance.
Does a Named Driver Need Their Own Insurance?
A named driver doesn’t need their own insurance.
The only time you’d need your own insurance is if you were to be added as the main driver of a car. If this is the case, then you’ll need to take out your own insurance policy.
Does Adding a Named Driver Reduce Insurance?
One of the main benefits of adding a named driver to your insurance policy is reduced premiums.
This is often the case with newer or less experienced drivers who wish to take out a policy in their own name. Adding a more experienced driver is just one way to get cheaper car insurance.
Be sure that whoever you add has a clean driving record and is fully licensed – for example, many drivers will add a parent.
On the other hand, adding someone with less experience or someone with penalty points can increase your premium so be very careful when deciding who to add.
Can a Named Driver be the Main Driver?
If a named driver does most of the driving, then it’s called fronting which is totally illegal.
Sometimes unknowingly, parents or guardians often take out policies in their own name but let their children do most of the driving so they can benefit from reduced premiums. If you plan to do this, ensure that you know that this can be classed as insurance fraud and there may be consequences.
Can You Be a Named Driver on Two Cars?
Because a named driver won’t be driving someone else’s car as often as the main driver, they can also be insured on another car.
It’s perfectly legal to be the named driver on more than one car so long as you only use the car occasionally and are insured on all vehicles you drive. A named driver can also have an insurance policy in their own name.