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Can I add a roommate to my car insurance?

Having a roommate can be a great experience. Not only can roommates provide you with company and add an element of joy to your life (except for those unwashed dishes in the sink, of course), but they also allow you to share costs and expenses, making life more affordable. You may be wondering if you can add a roommate to your car insurance as a cost-sharing opportunity.

In this post, we will explore the options you have for adding your roommate to your car insurance policy.

 

Frequently asked questions

How can I add my roommate to my car insurance?

To add a roommate to your car insurance you can add them as a secondary driver to your policy. This grants them full coverage under your car insurance every time they drive your vehicle.

To add them to your policy, simply contact your insurance provider and supply them with information on the new driver, including, their full name, driver’s licence number and birth date. They will likely ask whether the new driver has any traffic tickets.

We encourage you to answer truthfully as the company will almost certainly order an Ontario Driving Record from the Ministry of Transportation and any unreported tickets could result in a higher premium or even result in the driver being rejected by the insurer.

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What are the benefits of adding my roommate to my car insurance?

There are two main benefits to adding your roommate to your car insurance.

The first benefit is that it ensures that you, your vehicle, and your roommate are properly insured should they experience a car accident.

As the owner of the vehicle, you have the responsibility to tell your insurer who is regularly driving the car. A regular driver is someone who uses your vehicle occasionally. In general, it includes all licensed drivers living in your household who have access to the vehicle as well as others who may use it daily, weekly or even monthly.

It might be as simple as someone borrowing your car every Saturday to go grocery shopping or to pick up a boyfriend or girlfriend at school every once in a while. This requirement does not include true incidental use of your car, such as lending it to a friend so they can visit someone in a hospital or to a co-worker who is making a food run to the local fast-food joint. It only applies to someone who uses the vehicle multiple times on a regular basis.

Failure to add occasional drivers to your policy could result in a claim being denied because you did not properly report how the vehicle was being used to your insurer, essentially changing the exposure they thought they were insuring. While this is not a common outcome, it is a possibility, especially if the insurer discovers that the non-listed driver used the vehicle often or on a regular basis.

The second benefit is that it provides the driver with an insurance history, which will be beneficial to them when they purchase their own vehicle and require insurance.

 

Should I add my roommate to my car insurance even though they do not drive?

Vehicle owners only need to add people in their household who hold a driver’s licence and who occasionally drive the vehicle. You must advise your insurer of all licensed drivers in your household whether or not they drive your vehicle.  There may always be a chance that they do take your vehicle. So, your insurer must be advised.

If a roommate doesn’t drive at all i.e., doesn’t have a licence, they will not need to be added to your insurance policy. However, if your roommate does have a licence and borrows the vehicle – even if it is only once every couple of months – they should be added to the insurance policy as an occasional driver. Check out this blog post for more information on who should be added to your car insurance policy.

 

What if my roommate moves out?

The deciding factor on whether a roommate should be listed as an occasional driver on your insurance policy is whether they still have access to your vehicle.

There is no requirement that every occasional driver live at the same address. It is quite common to add friends, relatives and significant others to a policy who may live somewhere else but use the vehicle regularly.

If the roommate has moved out and they no longer have access to the vehicle you can remove them from the policy.

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What happens if my roommate has a bad driving record?

Insurance companies price an auto insurance policy based on their exposure. If you have comprehensive or collision insurance, more expensive cars cost more to repair or replace and therefore insurance is higher for these vehicles than less expensive ones. They also look at the experience of the drivers of the vehicle. People with clean accident and driving records are statistically proven to be better risks than those who have experienced at-fault accidents or received traffic tickets.

If your roommate has a poor driving record, it will definitely cost more to add them to the policy than someone who has a clean one. There may even be instances (such as having a DUI on their record) where the insurance company will refuse to allow them to drive your vehicle.

Your insurance provider will be able to advise you how much adding a driver to the policy costs, so you can ask your roommate to pay their fair share.

You also have the option to exclude your roommate from driving your vehicle. Both parties sign an Excluded Driver Endorsement form which confirms the individual will not drive, and if they do, no insurance is afforded.

Adding a roommate to your car insurance policy can provide everyone in your household with peace of mind knowing that you are protected in the event of an accident. There are even cases where you can save some money in the process.

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