“Am I Covered If . . . ?”

At DPM Insurance Group, we answer questions every day from drivers seeking clarification on a host of matters tied to their auto insurance policy. A few of the most frequently asked questions are:

“Am I covered if someone else drives my car?”

“Do I really need rental car insurance?”

“What happens to my policy when I get a new car?”

“Does my college student need to update their policy before they move?”

“Am I still covered if I start driving for Uber or Lyft?”

Find the answers you need below and get behind the wheel with confidence!

“Am I covered if someone else drives my car?” Typically, a car insurance policy stays with the vehicle. In other words, your coverage will be the primary even if someone else has permission to drive your car. The other driver’s policy will act as secondary or “backup” coverage.

Because your policy protects your vehicle, remember:

  • If you let someone borrow your car and they get into an accident, a claim for damages will be filed with your insurer and, in turn, your rates will likely increase. This could make for an awkward conversation about who pays for what.
  • If your car is borrowed and the driver gets a speeding ticket, the speeding ticket stays with the driver – as well as the likely price increase for their car insurance.
  • If an uninsured driver borrows your car, you could be on the hook for the total cost of whatever may happen. The cost of an accident adds up quickly, especially if other vehicle(s) are involved.

Letting another driver borrow your car is no small favor. Before you lend your vehicle, contact your broker to make sure you know what your policy does and does not cover before you hand over the keys.

Q2: “Do I really need rental car insurance?”

This is perhaps the #1 most frequently asked of all FAQs! In the midst of vacation planning (when we get there again), don’t forget to do your homework about whether or not rental car coverage may be beneficial. If you are traveling within Canada, your own car insurance policy will often be sufficient without adding rental coverage – with a few important exceptions:

  • If you have a high deductible, rental car coverage could be significantly less expensive in the event of an accident. For example, a $200 rental plan would be much easier to budget than paying a $1,000 deductible.
  • If you want to protect your current rate, filing a claim for damages against a rental policy may help avoid a rate increase on your personal policy.
  • If you only carry minimum coverage, you might be better protected with a rental policy that includes comprehensive and/or collision coverage.
  • Planning to drive abroad? Your personal policy is valid in Canada and may also include the United States. Otherwise, you will need a separate policy or rental car insurance to help cover any gaps, as well as meeting any requirements of your destination country.

Q3: “What happens to my policy when I get a new car?”

We understand if calling your insurance broker is not at the top of your list after you get a new car – but it’s important to bring them in the loop sooner rather than later.

Let’s say you trade in the vehicle currently insured on your policy for something else. Good news: You won’t lose your coverage for driving a different car off the lot. Most insurers offer a grace period to update the vehicle that is named on your policy. This can range from a seven to 30-day grace period, depending on the insurer.

When you update the vehicle on your policy, the price will likely change. One reason? Your new wheels are probably worth more. Of course, your insurance broker would be happy to give you a free quote before you buy a new car to see how it could affect your pricing.

Often, the car dealership will forward all the necessary information to your broker on your behalf, but it’s always prudent to follow up on your own.

Q4: “Does my college student need to update their policy before they move?”

Sending your young adult child off to college is such an exciting time. The changes and transitions you are going through as a family may also translate to insurance changes. If your child will be living on campus and brings a car, their car insurance policy will need to be updated for an out-of-town move.

If your child is not taking their car to college, talk to your broker about any potential “away at school” discounts instead of canceling their policy. Building a history of continuous coverage helps keep their rates lower!

Before their bags are packed, remind your student to hit the books: Some insurers offer a discount for good grades!

Q5: “Am I still covered if I start driving for Uber or Lyft?”

Driving for a rideshare service can be a great side hustle – if you are properly insured.

First things first: Talk to your insurance broker before you start accepting passengers. A personal auto insurance policy typically does not provide coverage for commercial services. If you start driving for Uber or Lyft and fail to tell your insurer, your policy may be canceled for violating the Terms of Coverage.

Protect the income earned from your side hustle with the right insurance. Ask if your insurer offers a rideshare endorsement that can be added to your personal car insurance policy. Otherwise, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy.

Get Answers to Your Car Insurance FAQs from DPM Insurance Group

Do you have questions about auto insurance? Our team has answers. With six offices across Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent, it’s simple to find one close to you. For answers to any questions you might have about car insurance, or any other type of insurance, click here to find the office nearest you: https://dpmins.com/locations/

 

Source: Web Insurance

Blenheim Office

24 Marlborough St. N., Box 479
Blenheim, ON N0P1A0

Phone: 519-676-8159
Fax: 519-676-0020

Chatham Office

250 St. Clair St.
Chatham, ON N7L 3J9

Phone: 519-352-4343
Toll Free: 1-800-561-4949
Fax: 519-352-6484

Essex Office

29 Talbot St. N, Box 69
Essex, ON N8M 2Y1

Phone: 519-776-6457
Fax: 519-776-7400

Harrow Office

65 King St. W., Box 790
Harrow, ON N0R 1G0

Phone: 519-738-2277
Fax: 519-738-2279

Tilbury Office

59 Mill St. E, Box 1239
Tilbury, ON N0P 2L0

Phone: 519-682-0202
Fax: 519-682-2391

Wallaceburg Office

403 Wellington St.
Wallaceburg, ON N8A 2Y2

Phone: 519-627-1777