Question

Can I drive my mom's car to Canada?

I am 20 years old. I have car insurance for myself on my car, and my mother has a car, with her own car insurance that I am not on, given that I live an hour north of her. However, my insurance knows my address to be the same as hers (I'm in college, I use her address as my permanent address). I am planning a trip for a weekend to Canada, with four other friends, ranging from 20-25. I just wanted to make sure that I can take my mom's car without doing anything beyond getting a letter of permission from my mother. I want to know if say I get into an accident while in Canada, (or I suppose in the US), if the insurance will cover everything, and I won't get in trouble. This also goes for if any of my friends choose to drive.

Aug 5, 2018 Dayton, OH

Answer
Ava Lynch

Aug 5, 2018

There's a lot of things to unpack here. There's the general concerns:
  1. Are you covered to drive your mom's car?
    • In this case, you might not be. Because you're not listed as a driver on her policy but use her address as your primary residence and they know about it, they might list you as an excluded driver on the policy. This means her policy would not cover any claim in which you were the driver.
  2. Does your policy cover Canada?
    • While some insurance companies do provide coverage into Canada, it's not set in stone. You should check with your personal policy to double check. By your policy, we mean the one for your vehicle
So, check with your mom's policy to see if you're an excluded driver. If you are, you would not have coverage in the event of an accident. In this case, I would recommend using your own vehicle and your car insurance policy. If you still want to use your mom's, have her add you to the policy for the trip. This way, you can have coverage. The next thing to think about is your friends - are they going to be doing any driving? Some insurance companies offer what is called permissive use policies. Basically, people who do not live in the residence and use the vehicle infrequently (meaning, less than 12 times a year), would have the same coverage as a named driver in the event of an accident. Check to see if you or your mom's policy has this and make sure it would apply outside of the US. If you do not have a permissive user clause, make sure you don't let anyone other than you drive. You risk having coverage denied in the event of an accident.

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