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Can Someone Drive My Car With My Insurance?

Monday, 2 December 2019

Your friend asks you to borrow your car for a quick run to the grocery store, and you really want to hand over the keys, but you’re not sure if they are covered under your insurance. You may ask yourself, can someone drive my car with my insurance? Does insurance follow the driver or the car? Well, long story short, it generally covers the car and your guest driver. When you sign up for coverage, your insurance policy relates to the car(s) and driver(s) listed on your policy. Your insurance is there to cover the damage should it be in an accident, no matter who the driver is, as long as: the driver of the vehicle is licensed to drive in Canada, has your permission, and isn’t using the vehicle in contravention of the rules as outlined by the policy, including any illegal activities.

Before just handing over the keys, there are a few things you might want to think about. Consider having a conversation with the person wanting to borrow your vehicle. Ask them what they are planning on using it for and where they will be going. Talk about how you would handle the situation if they were to get in an accident such as who is going to pay the deductible?  Consider their driving history. If you are not confident in their driving skills, maybe rethink letting them borrow your vehicle. It is also a good idea to contact your insurance company to specify the terms, conditions and any restrictions that may be on your policy. Verify that the registration and insurance information is in the car and the borrower knows where it is in case of something going wrong.

What happens if someone gets into an accident in my car?

So, you’ve decided to let your friend borrow your car, and unfortunately, they get into an accident. Your insurance becomes the primary insurance. This means that when an accident happens, your insurance will be used to cover the damage. Because this accident happened with your vehicle and your insurance had to cover the damage, your premiums will most likely rise. Therefore, it is important to think about who are lending your car to, because you don’t want to have your premiums increase for an accident that wasn’t your fault.

Aside from a possible accident, what else do I need to consider?

It is not uncommon to see a driver eager to “test” performance capabilities of a rental or borrowed vehicle. Aggressive driving can have a major impact on engine and transmission performance as well premature wear of tires, brake pads and rotors. If you are aware of the driver’s prior aggressive driving habits, you may want to reconsider lending your vehicle. Aggressive driving may also lead to traffic violations. Normally, a traffic violation won’t have any impact on you; however, depending on a violation severity your vehicle may be impounded and the cost and inconvenience of recovering it may fall on your shoulders. 

Can someone drive my car with my insurance if they drive my car regularly?

If your roommate frequently takes your car for errands every week, or your child just got their license and wants to take your car out every weekend, you’re going to need to add them to your insurance policy. If someone is only borrowing your car once or twice a month, it is unlikely that they should be added on your policy but speak with your insurance provider to make sure. Depending on your provider, they could refuse to cover damage that happens to your vehicle at the fault of someone not listed on your policy. Their personal information and driving history will be considered by your insurance company and this could increase your premium if they think there is an increased risk.

What should I know about driving someone else's car in Ontario?

If you are looking to borrow someone else’s car, the same process occurs. You should have the same conversation with them that you would if they were borrowing your car. Make sure you know where the insurance and registration are located, that the car is in proper working order and that there is adequate insurance coverage on their vehicle. Ask if their coverage includes province-mandated liability insurance, collision insurance and comprehensive insurance. Again, the best option is to call the insurance company to see if there is anything else you should look out for before getting behind the wheel.

What happens if someone uses my car without my permission?

If your car is stolen, if the driver doesn’t have a license or if it is being used illegally, the coverage from your insurance company may be voided. If someone takes your vehicle without your permission and an accident is caused, they will be liable for the damage, however, it could be difficult to prove the non-permissive driving. At the end of the day, you will have to discuss with your broker or insurance company what would happen in this situation to fully know what to expect.

Every insurance company is different with their approach to identification of occasional drivers. If you are not sure about listing an additional driver on your policy, or find your premium increasing after an accident, or after adding someone to your policy we can help you obtain the right answer. It could also be a good time to shop around for new quotes. That’s our job! Let us know if you would like us to take a look at your policy.

By: Serenity Roberts