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Does Your Car Insurance Offer Coverage for All Named Drivers? (And Which Ones Do)

Alevin Chan

Alevin Chan

Last updated 21 November, 2022

Named driver benefits allow others to drive your car, which some may find helpful. However, there are implications to consider when adding drivers to your motor insurance policy. 

Did you know that car insurance policies can be shared? 

Well, maybe not in the traditional sense of the word, but a person that is the Main Driver on a motor policy can add other individuals to the same policy, allowing them to legally drive that same vehicle – subject to the policy’s terms and conditions.

This is known as a “named driver” benefit, and here’s how it works. 

More on this topic:
Should I Include A New Named Driver Under My Car Insurance?
Being a Safe Driver Can Save You Money. Here's How.
10 Best Car Insurance Plans in Singapore (November 2022)

What is a named driver?

Simply put, a named driver is any individual you add to your car insurance policy. This allows them to have the same level of insurance coverage under your policy while driving your vehicle. 

Note that this only goes as far as the basic benefits in your policy; riders and add-ons may not apply to your named drivers – check with your insurer to be sure. 

As it is illegal to drive without a car insurance policy, adding a named driver is useful in allowing, say, your children to drive the family car without them needing to get a separate motor policy of their own.

However, as a named driver, they are only allowed to drive the vehicle that is registered under your car insurance plan. If they want to drive their own vehicle, they will need to get their own car insurance plan.

You may think that adding friends or family members that just got their licences as named drivers on your policy is a good way to help them avoid high insurance premiums they would otherwise be subject to. 

That is true, but you need to ensure that they are not driving your car more often than the Main Driver named on your policy (i.e., you). If your named drivers are found to be the ones most often driving the car, you may be considered guilty of a fraudulent practice known as “fronting”. This can void your motor insurance claims. 

What’s the difference between a named driver and an authorised driver?

Some insurers also admit authorised drivers – which are basically any qualified person that you allow to drive your car.

Unlike named drivers (which you have to, well, name in your policy), authorised drivers do not need to be nominated in your insurance plan. 

Authorised driver plans are much more flexible, as you do not need to seek your insurer’s approval before allowing other individuals to drive your car. 

There are also no restrictions on the number of authorised drivers you may have; in contrast, you may only be able to add up to a certain number of named drivers. 

See also: From Third-party to All-risks, Which Car Insurance Type is Best For You?

How will adding a named driver affect my policy?

Adding named drivers to your policy will incur an increase in your insurance premiums. Your insurer may charge an additional premium per driver added, and the premiums will be priced according to each named driver’s risk profile (gender, age, driving experience, accident history, etc).

This also applies to plans that allow you to add authorised drivers – such plans may be priced higher than variants that only cover a single main driver.

Not all insurers charge a higher premium for authorised driver benefits; instead, there is an additional excess applied to your claims. This allows insurers to keep premiums low and safe drivers to avoid being penalised.

And by the way, “authorised driver”, “named driver” and “unnamed driver” may be used interchangeably, and different insurers may have different definitions of what those terms mean exactly. 

Just for illustration, here are three overlapping definitions I found while researching this article:

  • Insurer A: 
    • Named drivers – occasional drivers you name under the policy
    • Authorised drivers – people you give permission to use your car
  • Insurer B:
    • Named driver – any person named in your schedule and certificate of insurance
    • Authorised driver – any person holding a valid and relevant class of driving licence and given permission by you to drive the car
    • Unnamed driver – any person who is not named in your schedule or certificate of insurance but who is authorised by you to drive the car
  • Insurer C: 
    • Named driver – drivers named in the schedule or certificate of insurance
    • Unnamed driver – any person who is not named in the schedule or certificate of insurance but who is authorised by you to drive your vehicle

Why does this matter? Because these definitions will impact how your insurer treats your claims and what excess will be applicable. We’ll discuss this further in the next section. 

What happens if someone who is not a named driver drives my car? 

Well, nothing – unless they get into an accident or damage your car in some way. When that happens with someone other than you behind the wheel, you will be subject to an additional excess charge on your claim. This excess is applied independently of the “own driver excess” that your policy may come with. 

In short, you’ll have to pay a higher sum out of your own pocket. There is also the possibility that your insurer may deny your claim altogether, as can happen if you were found to have lent out your car to an unlicensed or suspended driver. 

Be aware that insurers may impose two separate excess, one for young or inexperienced drivers, and another for unnamed/unauthorised drivers. This could expose you to hefty out-of-pocket expenses on your claims. 

As such, it is best to check with your insurer on what excess would be imposed and under what scenarios, before you sign up.  

Four car insurance plans with named driver benefits

Motor insurance

Additional driver benefits 

DirectAsia Car Insurance

Value: Main Driver and up to 4 other named drivers

Value Plus: Main Driver, any authorised drivers, and up to 2 other named drivers

Flexible: All drivers are covered, with no naming required

Budget Direct Car Insurance

Authorised Driver: Policyholder, Main Driver, and anyone else allowed to drive your car

Named Driver: Main Driver and persons named in your policy 

FWD Car Insurance

Insure additional drivers you trust without naming them on your policy

Classic: paid add-on

Executive: included

Prestige: included

Etiqa Private Car Insurance

Named driver: Adjustable excess

Unnamed driver: Additional S$500 excess

Additional excess for elderly, young or inexperienced driver: S$2,500

As you can see from the above examples, there is really no standardisation in how insurers treat additional drivers, so you’ll have to do a bit of research to suss out the one that is best suited for you. 

In the case of DirectAsia, it seems to be about how much flexibility you want, while Budget Direct has a clearer demarcation between named drivers and authorised (but unnamed) drivers. 

For FWD, going with the higher-tier plans will give you the option to add other drivers, whether you may want to or not.

And finally, for Etiqa, it seems you can add additional drivers to your policy, but unnamed drivers will incur an added excess. Also, note that this plan has separate excess for unnamed drivers and elderly/young/inexperienced drivers. 

Read these next:
All About Car Insurance and Premium Costs
Pros and Cons of Staying With the Same Car Insurance
Which Car Insurance Add-ons Are Worth Spending On?
What to Look for in a Car Insurance When Driving to Malaysia

An ex-Financial Planner with a curiosity about what makes people tick, Alevin’s mission is to help readers understand the psychology of money. He’s also on an ongoing quest to optimise happiness and enjoyment in his life.


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