When do I need car insurance in Alberta?

Auto insurance Edmonton

Driving without car insurance is a serious matter and the penalties reflect this fact. The minimum fine for a first offense in Alberta is $2,875; the maximum is $10,000. But how does it work when you’re borrowing a car or renting one for a few days? Do you still need insurance? We’ve got the answers below.

Do I need insurance to borrow someone’s car?

You don’t need insurance to temporarily borrow someone’s car, provided you have that person’s permission and are a licensed driver who’s legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle in the province. When borrowing another person’s car, their insurance policy will cover you too. But this must be an infrequent occurrence. If, for instance, you’re borrowing a friend’s car once a week to do groceries, you need to be listed on their insurance policy as a “secondary” or “occasional” driver.

If someone’s borrowing my car, what risks do I run?

If someone borrows your car and causes an accident, you could be held financially responsible. If damages exceed your liability limit and the person doesn’t volunteer to cover the costs, you’re in a difficult situation as the onus is on you to make the payment. Also, there will likely be a hike in your insurance premium, even if you were in no way involved in the incident.

How does insurance work for car rentals?

If you have an insurance policy for your own car, your liability coverage will extend to the rental. However, to be covered for damage to the rental car, you’ll have to add the SEF 27 to your policy, an endorsement that covers you for legal liability for damage to cars you don’t own. That or you can pay for the rental company’s collision damage waiver, which makes the rental company responsible for the costs of any damage.

If you don’t have an insurance policy of your own, at minimum, you’ll need to pay for a collision damage waiver and liability protection, both of which transfer responsibility from you to the car rental company. These tend to be offered at the counter at most car rental companies.

Have specific questions about auto insurance in Alberta? If you’re looking for an industry expert, or simply want to start gathering insurance quotes, your best option in Edmonton and surrounding areas is HDF Insurance. For the best information—and best deals!—on auto insurance, get in touch with one of our brokers today!