It is not uncommon for family members to share the household car. Parents, teens, spouses and in-laws may have access to your vehicle from time to time. But what happens when these occasional drivers have a poor driving record or are found to be high-risk drivers? This can mean higher premiums for you because the policy covers the vehicle, not the driver. To help avoid paying high premiums, you can opt into adding an OPCF 28A endorsement to your policy. This add-on rider will exclude these high-risk drivers from coverage. We will discuss what an excluded driver is, and how this endorsement can help save you money on your premiums.
Who has coverage under my auto insurance policy?
According to thebalance.com, your auto insurance policy extends to anybody who uses your car with your permission. When calculating premiums, insurance companies want to know every driver who will likely be using your vehicle. This means on a somewhat-regular basis. Typically, these drivers are people living in your home who have a driver’s licence, including:
- Your children
- Your roommates
Your family members and roommates are known as “permissive drivers”. This means that they automatically have coverage while driving your car. Auto insurance providers know that it’s common for family members to borrow each other’s vehicles. Therefore, they consider every household member’s driving history (with a licence) when calculating premiums.
Drivers who are not on your policy might also have coverage in the following situations:
- Other family members that visit you or stay with you at your home.
- Sharing the driving responsibility on a road trip or a long drive.
- When friends and family members borrow your car when theirs is receiving repairs.
Whether the policy provides coverage in these situations typically depends on you giving consent. This means you’ve either verbally told them they can drive your vehicle or you give them the keys. Typically, they should receive coverage under the terms of your policy. However, you should speak with your isure broker to be sure beforehand.
What is an ‘Excluded Driver’?
An excluded driver is one that you intentionally request removal from your Ontario car insurance. Once they’re removed from your policy, they can’t drive your vehicle and won’t receive coverage from your insurer. Excluding a driver from your policy is normally done because removing them will lower your premiums. However, it’s sometimes the insurance company that wants the additional exclusion.
What happens when you exclude a driver?
If you have someone on your auto insurance policy who is a problem driver, your insurance rates will keep rising. Your auto insurer may want you to remove the driver from your policy or have you pay a higher premium. Excluding the driver means that that individual won’t be able to legally drive any of your vehicles. It also means they will not receive protection under your policy. If they cause an accident while driving one of your vehicles, they’ll be thought of as an uninsured driver. In addition, they will face liability for all damages and injuries that result from the crash.
If you decide to exclude a member of your household from your policy, your insurer and you will sign an endorsement to confirm the exclusion. This specific driver will no longer have coverage if they drive one of your cars. However, your policy will still cover them if they’re a passenger in one of your vehicles. After receiving the label of an excluded driver, they shouldn’t drive any of the vehicles on your car insurance policy. If they do, it is similar to driving without insurance. In the event of an accident, both you and the excluded driver may be held responsible if you are aware they were driving.
Conditions of the OPCF 28A
By signing this form, both you (the owner of the vehicle) and the ED both agree that they will not drive the insured vehicle. Both signatures are necessary in order to validate the form. The form further states that if the excluded driver is operating the vehicle:
- The policy will not provide insurance, which is a requirment by law, for the vehicle;
- The policy will not provide coverage for any damage or injuries as a result of the ED;
- The owner of the vehicle and the ED may be personally responsible for damages or injuries as a result of the ED; and
- The excluded driver will not receive coverage for “most Accident Benefits”.
Difference between the OPCF 28 & 28A
The key difference is that OPCF 28: Reducing Coverage for a Selected Driver allows for some liability protection, loss or damage. You can decide the limit and deductible for what coverage you want to receive. However, the OPCF 28A: Excluded Driver Endorsement will remove all insurance that is legally required to drive in Ontario.
How will it affect the cost of my policy?
The main reason policyholders remove household members from their auto policy with an OPCF 28A is because their poor driving record and driving infractions while using your car results in your premiums being high. An OPCF 28A typically results in a reduced insurance premium for the car owner. High-risk drivers typically include young drivers or those with convictions and/or at-fault accidents on their record.
FYI: It is important to remember that your insurer can still factor in any accidents that the ED causes beforehand into calculations.
FAQs about OPCF 28A and Excluded Drivers
What does it mean when a following driver is excluded on insurance?
What if an ED drives my car?
An excluded driver is essentially someone that is driving without insurance. So, if they take your car out and police pull them over, it may cost both the owner of the car (you) and the driver up to $50,000 in fines. Additionally, there can be licence suspensions and even vehicle impoundment!
Why would you add an OPCF 28A to your policy?
Car insurance companies may insist on exclusions for certain drivers, particularly if they have DUIs, a licence suspension, or a high-risk driver. In some cases, insurers can cancel your coverage or even refuse to cover you if such drivers are left on your policy. If they are in an accident, both of you can be sued by anyone who suffers injuries from the accident.
What happens if my insurer finds out the excluded driver is still driving my car?
If your insurance company discovers that the excluded driver has been driving the vehicle, the insurance company has the right to cancel your policy. The insurance company may also refuse to renew the policy on the basis that there has been a breach of contract. Should this happen, it can make it much more difficult (and expensive) for you to obtain another motor vehicle insurance policy.
Living with someone that has a poor driving record? Be prepared to pay higher premiums. Your insurance company may ask you to exclude them from your car insurance policy, as well. If you aren’t happy with your insurer’s rate increase, you may want isure to shop around to find another carrier that offers a better deal. We may find you an insurer that may not require the exclusion or offer more affordable rates to the high-risk driver in your household.