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Auto Insurance Q & A – When My Friend Borrows My Car, Are They Covered?

Many drivers don’t really understand what lending out their car means for auto insurance coverage. Does it mean that whoever borrows your car is covered by their own insurance? Or does lending out your car mean lending out your insurance?

So we thought it would be a good idea to cover the topic of whether someone is covered when they take your car for a spin and what you need to know as a vehicle owner lending your car out.

When you lend your car, you lend your auto insurance

So right off the bat, let’s make it clear that insurance coverage follows the car, not the driver. So if you lend you car to someone, you are also lending your insurance. It does not matter if they have their own policy in their name for another vehicle.

One-off lending versus a regular borrowing situation

The idea of how a car is borrowed and the regularity or consistency of car usage was touched on in our series about secondary drivers. In short, if someone is borrowing your car as a one-off scenario, for example of family member visiting from out of town uses your car for a day of sightseeing, then your auto insurance covers them and there is nothing you need to do.

If, however, you have some borrowing your car on a consistent basis, such as a friend using your car to take your child to her weekly swimming lessons, then you need to add that person on to your plan as a secondary or occasional driver.

It’s important to get this right, to ensure that if something were to happen, coverage is in place. If you’re unsure, get in touch with your insurance broker or company to share more details about your lending situation.

Check out these posts for more information on occasional or secondary drivers:

My friend got in an accident

So you lent your car out to your friend and they got in accident. One of the first things you will likely wonder, after you’ve gotten assurances that everyone involved is fine, is how badly damaged your car is and what will happen to your insurance. In short, they will be covered by your insurance plan in most cases. Assuming of course that they actually have a valid driver’s licence and that there was nothing illegal going on while driving such as driving under the influence.

And if they were at fault for the accident, you can expect your car insurance premiums to increase… which is why it’s very important that you trust whomever you lend your car to! Click here to learn more about how insurance premiums are affected when someone else has a crash in your vehicle.

My friend got a ticket

When it comes to tickets and driving infractions, unlike insurance they follow the driver. So if you lend your car, and the driver get a speeding ticket for example, the repercussions for that are on them.

Have more questions about auto insurance coverage when you lend out your car? Want to be sure that you have the correct information on your policy regarding drivers and usage? Reach out to one of the insurance specialists on our team to discuss your situation in more details. And if you’re looking for an auto insurance quote in Ontario, head over here to get your online quote in minutes.

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We have provided the definitions in this blog post for general information purposes only. They are not meant to be complete descriptions to cover any and all terms, conditions and exclusions that are found in different insurance policies. If there is any inconsistency between this information and the definitions in your policy, it is your policy that governs. Contact your insurance broker if you have any questions or need any clarification about your particular policy and the definitions therein.

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