Wednesday, February 29, 2012

If I get pulled over in mum’s car (she has insurance, I’m not on it) do I get in trouble? Will rarely drive car."

I was recently asked a question on Twitter:

"Twittersphere: insurance?. If I get pulled over in mum’s car (she has insurance, I’m not on it) do I get in trouble? Will rarely drive car."

The direct answer to this question is that you do not need to be listed on a car insurance policy to be able to drive that car. You may borrow a friend’s car, family member’s car, etc. and it is not a requirement that you be listed on that policy. If a police officer pulls you over, what they are going to want to know is that there is insurance on the car. If proof of insurance (the "pink slip") is in the car, the police shouldn’t care if you are listed on the policy or not. There are always exceptions and qualifications to this statement. Obviously, you need to have been given permission to be using the car, and you need to be licensed to drive. Also, there is sometimes an exclusion put on a policy (called an OPCF 28a) to exclude specific drivers (which means if someone is excluded under a 28a, they would not have coverage should something happen to them or the car while driving it). Always discuss your specific situation with your Insurance Broker to make sure. This answer is general in nature and to make sure you are protected (and won’t get in trouble) in your specific situation, always talk to your Insurance provider (or your Mum’s in this case).

That all being said, it is important to ensure full disclosure by the person who does take out the insurance policy. One of the questions on an automobile application for insurance is, "Are there other’s in the household licensed to drive?" Most Insurance companies will want all drivers in the household listed on the policy, regardless of the frequency of use of the car. Make sure you answer all questions truthfully, and give full details so your insurance broker can help you find the best options specific to your situation.

One last point – there are circumstances where it would make sense to be listed on a family member’s insurance policy. It creates an insurance history and can help keep your premium’s down when you do get a car. Talk to an insurance broker and let them determine the best plan for you!