Can Someone Drive Your Car If They Are Not On Your Insurance?

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We don’t normally think twice when a friend asks to borrow our car for a quick errand. That’s what friends are for, right?

But what if they get into a collision with the car? Will your car insurance apply if the friend isn’t named as a driver on your policy?

Yes, you can lend your car to someone who is not a named driver on your auto insurance policy. However, when you share your car, know that you are also sharing your car insurance. That’s because in Ontario, auto insurance follows the car, not the person driving it.

Your insurance company expects that anyone who uses your car will have your express permission. The person borrowing your car also has to have a valid driver’s license and legal permission to drive in the province of Ontario.

But the rules change if the person becomes a regular user of the car:

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You Have To Name Frequent Users Of Your Car On Your Policy

An important point to note, though, if the person borrowing your car has become a regular user of the vehicle, it is not enough to permit them to use the car.

Your insurance company will require you to add the person as a driver under your policy’s permissive driver clause. If you don’t add them, they may refuse to honor claims for collisions the borrower causes with your car.

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What Happens If Someone Borrows Your Car And Gets in an Accident?

Assuming the person had a valid driver’s license, legal authority to drive in Ontario, and had your verbal or written permission, you can file a claim for collision damages against your car’s insurance policy. The claim will be settled up to the policy’s limits. It is your insurance policy that will meet the costs of the collision damages, not the borrower’s insurance.

Here is where it gets dicey:

Not only will your insurance policy bear the cost of any damages resulting from the accident, but the accident record will also stay on your policy. Your insurance company will treat the collision as if you were the one driving the car. To the insurance company, you will now be considered an unsafe driver, which has other repercussions:

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Will My Insurance Go Up If Someone Else Wrecked My Car?

Auto insurance carriers determine your premiums on your perceived risk potential. If you are a reckless driver who frequently gets into accidents, they will consider you an expensive client to insure. You are more likely to be making frequent claims and will, therefore, be offered a high premium.

For the same reason, the insurance company will seek to establish your driving history before approving you for a policy. Now, if the person you have lent your car gets into an accident with it, your premium is likely to increase on your next renewal.

There should be no problem with lending your car to a friend or relative. But make sure you trust the person’s driving skills. They cannot lend the car to someone else nor do anything illegal with it and will have to care for it as you would. Implore them to avoid any reckless driving and to always make sure they have the policy and their driver’s license on them while using the car.

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