Jan 14, 2022
What happens if you let someone else drive your car in Ontario?
If a friend or family member needs to use your car, are they covered if there is an accident?
You may be wondering if anyone who has a valid licence and active car insurance in Ontario can use your car without breaking any laws or contracts. There are some nuances to consider when someone else drives your car.
Before the driver heads out of the driveway, here is what you need to know if you let someone drive your car.
Can you drive a car under someone else’s insurance?
Insurance covers the vehicle, not the person driving it. You legally can’t drive in the province if you don’t have any.
If you have an active licence in the province, you can use someone else’s vehicle. You must have permission to use it and drive responsibly. You may want to consider adding an occasional driver if you have a friend or family member who uses your vehicle weekly. If you lie to your insurer and fail to disclose this information, you may be faced with material representation.
Who can legally drive my car in Ontario?
Under certain circumstances you can lead your vehicle to someone who is not included on your policy, because it is applied to the VIN. If you decided to lend your vehicle, consider the following :
- Is the driver licenced to drive in Canada?
- Do they have verbal or written to drive it?
- Will they adhere to the rules of your policy agreements?
- Are they participating in illegal activities while using your car?
Always consider the person you are lending your vehicle too before you hand over the keys. Letting a friend borrow your car to move one day, versus letting your partner drive weekly to work, require different obligations and protection.
What happens if I get into an accident in someone else’s car?
If someone borrows your car and is involved in an accident, your insurer will cover the losses as long as the person driving has explicit permission to use it. It’s important to remember when you let someone borrow your car, they are borrowing that clean driving record you have. If they are a poor driver, use your discretion.
Insures will cover car insurance claims resulting in an accident from someone else behind the wheel – they don’t need coverage of their own. As an uninsured driver, you are protected up to the car owner’s policy limits. It will cover damages and bodily harm caused to the drivers.
Keep in mind that Ontario has a graduated licensing system, and depending on what type of licence you have and if you break any of those rules could be faced with a denied claim and increased costs.
When will someone else’s insurance not cover me?
There are circumstances where you will not be covered if you are using someone else’s car. This would include :
- Driving under the influence : If you are driving impaired or driving high, you will not be covered for any damaged and will be fined.
- You are an excluded driver : If the owner specifically added you as an excluded driver and you still take their vehicle, you will not be protected.
- You never received permission : If the owner can prove they did not permit you to drive their vehicle, you will need to cover all damages.
- You do not have a licence : Without having a valid licence, you could face legal charges for driving.
If you have a roommate or family member you live with, it’s important to tell your insurer if they drive and have their own coverage.
What is non-owner insurance?
There are ways to modify and add to an existing policy so that you can enjoy the same protection if you drive borrowed vehicles, rideshare services, and rental cars. OPCF 27 (non-owner coverage) is an add on for your insurance. This type of coverage only protects the driver – it’s a type of liability coverage.
Non-owner insurance can be beneficial. For example, you visit a friend out of the province, borrow their car, and there is an accident. If the damages go beyond their coverage limits, the non-owner insurance will cover the rest. Otherwise, you would have to pay for it.
You don’t need non-owner insurance if you drive a company car for business reasons or you are listed on the policy of someone you live with.
Insurance for someone else driving your car FAQS
IIf you are driving without insurance in Ontario you would still be protected if you are in an accident. You are covered under permissive use when you give someone permission to drive your car.
As long as you have a valid licence, you can drive someone else’s car, even if you do not have car insurance. If you are driving without a licence and get into an accident, insurers can deny your claim even if the owner gave you permission to drive.
If you are driving someone else’s vehicle and are licenced in the province, their coverage will protect you while you’re on the road.
Anyone living in under your roof should be included in your policy. You may see a slight increase by adding them, but you are ensuring they are protected in the event of an accident or if they need to use your car.