Insuringa G1 Driver in Ontario
As a teen comes of age, he may look toward a driver’s license as a step toward the independence and maturity of adulthood. His parents, though, may be more concerned with the increased insurance costs he may represent. When you consider that a person who has never been behind the wheel of a car can obtain a G1 license, you can see that even when supervised by an experienced driver, there’s increased the risk of the incident with a new driver. With insurance companies, increased risk means increased premiums. Here’s what you need to know about insuring a G1 driver.
The Good News
It’s crucial that you inform your insurance company when a G1 driver begins using your car. If you don’t and an accident happens, claims may be denied, leaving you liable for repairs, rehabilitation and lawsuits. However, since the G1 license comes with a list of conditions, including in-car supervision with an experienced driver, there’s no charge for adding a G1 driver. It’s only when this driver earns a G2 level and can drive alone that the insurance company will add a surcharge for covering this person.
G1 Driver Restrictions
To set the groundwork for a good driving record and preferred insurance rates down the road, the G1 driver must adhere to all the conditions that accompany this license level. To review, these are the key restrictions:
- Maintaining Zero Blood Alcohol – There’s a zero tolerance for this infraction with the police and courts. After a license suspension, an offender may be required to install a breathalyzer-style ignition interlock and will see major insurance premium increases for at least five years after the offense. One incident could exceed $25,000 in costs.
- Fully Licensed Driver – the G1 holder must be accompanied by a fully licensed driver, the only person allowed in the front seat. In addition, this driver must have a minimum of four years driving experience and must be under 0.05% blood alcohol while accompanying the G1 driver.
- No 400 Series Highways – Unless the supervising driver is a licensed driver training instructor, G! drivers are not allowed on any controlled access highways or any other roads where the speed limit exceeds 80 km/h.
- Time Restrictions – G1 drivers can be on the road only between 5 a.m. and midnight, regardless of meeting any or all of the other restrictions. Statistically, midnight to 5 a.m. has some of the most dangerous driving hours.
- Passenger Restrictions – In addition to the supervising driver being the only person permitted in the front seat, the G1 driver cannot have more rear seat passengers than there are seatbelts. This is common sense and it’s also the rule for all drivers, at all licensing levels.
Preparing for G2 Insurance
One of the best things a G1 driver can do to prepare for the G2 level is attending a Ministry of Ontario approved driver training program. Many insurance companies offer discounts to those who complete the program successfully, and the MTO itself reduces the time before a G2 road test from 12 months to 8 months with a driver training certificate.
While less intuitive, but still effective, holding good grades in school is also a way to qualify for insurance discounts once the G2 level is reached. Some insurers offer reduced rates for young drivers who are honours students.