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Can Someone Drive My Car With My Insurance?

Wednesday, 28 June 2023

If your friend asks to borrow your car for a quick run to the grocery store, you may find yourself wondering if they are covered under your insurance. In general, car insurance covers both the vehicle and guest drivers. When you sign up for coverage, your insurance policy applies to the car(s) and driver(s) listed on your policy. It serves to protect against damages resulting from accidents, regardless of the driver, as long as they meet the following conditions: the driver is licensed to drive in Canada, has your permission, and complies with the policy rules, including refraining from engaging in any illegal activities.

Before handing over the keys to another driver, you should consider a few things:

  • Have a conversation with the person intending to borrow your car about their purpose for using the vehicle, and their planned destinations.
  • In case of an accident, who would be responsible for paying the deductible?
  • Contact your insurance company to clarify the terms, conditions, and any restrictions within your policy
  • Ensure that the car contains the necessary registration and insurance information, and make sure the borrower is aware of its location

What Happens If Someone Gets into an Accident in My Car?

If an accident occurs in a borrowed car, the car owner’s insurance becomes the primary insurance - meaning that it will cover the damages incurred. However, since the accident involved your vehicle and your insurance had to handle the expenses, it's highly likely that your premiums will increase. Therefore, it's crucial to carefully consider to whom you lend your car, as you wouldn't want your premiums to rise due to an accident that wasn't your fault.

Aside from a Possible Accident, What Else Do I Need to Consider?

It's not uncommon for drivers to be eager to test the performance capabilities of a rental or borrowed vehicle. However, aggressive driving can negatively impact engine and transmission performance, as well as cause premature wear of tires, brake pads, and rotors. If you're aware of the driver's past aggressive driving habits, it may be wise to reconsider lending your vehicle. Aggressive driving can also lead to traffic violations. While a traffic violation typically won't affect you directly, depending on its severity, your vehicle may be impounded, resulting in added costs and inconvenience when recovering it.

Can Someone Drive My Car with My Insurance if They Drive It Regularly?

If your roommate frequently uses your car for weekly errands or your child has recently obtained their licence and wants to take your car out every weekend, you may need to add them as a driver to your insurance policy. If someone only borrows your car once or twice a month, it's unlikely that they need to be added to your policy. However, it's crucial to consult your insurance provider to confirm this. Some providers may refuse to cover damages caused by individuals not listed on your policy. Insurance companies evaluate the personal information and driving history of additional drivers, which may result in increased premiums if they perceive an increased risk.

What Should I Know about Driving Someone Else's Car in Canada?

If you intend to borrow someone else's car, you should engage in a similar conversation with them as you would if they were borrowing your car. Ensure that you know the location of the insurance and registration documents, confirm that the car is in proper working order, and verify that the vehicle has adequate insurance coverage. Inquire about their coverage for province mandated liability, collision, and comprehensive auto insurance. It's always advisable to contact the insurance company to obtain any additional information or precautions before getting behind the wheel.

What Happens If Someone Uses My Car Without My Permission?

If your car is stolen, driven without a licence, or used illegally, your insurance coverage may be voided. In the event that someone takes your vehicle without your permission and causes an accident, they would be held liable for the damages. However, proving non-permissive driving can be challenging. It's important to discuss this situation with your broker or insurance company to fully understand what to expect.

Every insurance company has its own approach to identifying occasional drivers. If you're unsure about listing an additional driver on your policy, experiencing a premium increase after an accident or after adding someone to your policy, we can assist you in obtaining the right answer. This might also be an opportune time to explore new quotes. At BIG Insurance our job is to help you navigate these matters, so feel free to reach out if you would like us to review your policy.

By: Liz Stephenson