What is non owned auto insurance?

6 minute read Published on Jan 16, 2024 by BrokerLink Communications

A smiling couple sitting in a car and fastening their seat belts

Ontario car insurance is mandatory. However, most of the time, the person who buys car insurance is the owner of the car. What if you happen to drive regularly but don't own a car yourself? That’s where non owned auto insurance comes in. Below, we will explain how non owned car insurance works and who it is best suited to.

Non owner car insurance

Although the owner of a vehicle is the only person who can legally purchase insurance for their vehicle, there is a different type of car insurance that is specifically for people who frequently drive vehicles that aren’t their own. It is called non owned car insurance and it is best suited to people who regularly drive a friend or family member’s car, rent cars often, or frequently participate in car sharing services.

Keep in mind that auto insurance is mandatory everywhere in Canada. While you might think it’s only required for vehicle owners, this isn't true. Depending on how frequently you drive, you may also be legally required to carry it. For example, if you drive another person or company’s car on a regular basis, it is important to purchase a type of auto insurance known as third party liability car insurance, so that you will be protected should you get into an accident that you are found to be at fault for. In Ontario, non owned auto insurance that protects against liability is known as OPCF27.

Non owned auto coverage in Ontario: OPCF27

If you are purchasing Toronto car insurance, there is one type you should know about and that is OPCF27, or non owned auto liability. OPCF27 is an endorsement that can be added to an existing car insurance policy. Officially known as Legal Liability For Damage To Non Owned Automobiles, it provides liability coverage when a person is driving a car they do not own. In other words, with this type of endorsement, a driver will have the peace of mind of knowing that if the vehicle they are borrowing gets damaged, the insurance company will help them pay for it.

By completing the OPCF27 form and adding it as an endorsement to their policy, a policyholder will be able to extend their existing liability coverage and accident benefits coverage to their non owned auto insurance. In addition to this, the OPCF27 endorsement can also come with comprehensive and collision coverage (depending on the terms of your personal insurance policy), which can help you pay to repair or replace the car you’ve rented or borrowed should an accident or damage occur.

Please note that as with all types of insurance, non owned auto insurance has restrictions and limitations. Specifically, you will only be covered by your OPCF27 endorsement under the following circumstances:

  • When driving in Canada or the United States
  • When driving a standard rental car that weighs under 4,500 kilograms
  • Coverage for rental cars has a limit, typically ranging from $25,000 to $50,000
  • For drivers whose names are listed on a personal car insurance policy
  • For a maximum of 30 days of renting a vehicle

To find out how to add OPCF27 coverage to your personal car insurance policy, contact an insurance broker at BrokerLink. We can explain how car insurance rates are calculated and how adding this type of endorsement to your policy can affect your rates.

Who is eligible for non owned auto insurance?

Technically speaking, any person in Ontario with a valid driver’s licence who does not own a car is eligible for non owned auto insurance coverage in the province. That said, many insurance companies have rules and restrictions around who they will actually grant this type of coverage to. For example, many insurers will not allow a customer to take out a non owned auto policy if the person whose car they borrow lives in their household. In other words, if it is your parents or spouse’s car that you drive frequently, an insurance company likely won’t allow you to add OPCF27 coverage.

Instead, you will need to be added as a driver to your parents’ or spouse’s personal car insurance policy. Thus, non owned auto insurance is usually best suited to those who rent cars or borrow them from people outside of their household. For instance, if you rent cars from rental car agencies on a regular basis or you are a member of a car sharing service, such as Zipcar or Communauto, then you may want to talk to an insurance broker about non owned auto insurance. An insurance broker can also explain what documents you need for car insurance and how long it takes for your car insurance policy.

Why purchase a non owned personal auto insurance policy?

The three most common reasons that customers choose to purchase non owner car insurance are as follows:

You borrow a friend or family member’s car on a regular basis

If you often find yourself borrowing a friend, family member, or neighbour’s car, then a non owned auto endorsement might be for you. Keep in mind that car insurance follows the car, not the driver. So if you only drive your friend’s car very occasionally, you may not need to purchase your own insurance, as if you get into an accident, you will be protected by their coverage.

However, if you borrow their car on a regular basis, then you should strongly consider a non owned policy due to the extra protection it provides. Remember that with a non owned car insurance endorsement, you also gain comprehensive and collision coverage. This coverage can be used to pay for any damages that exceed the limits of your friend’s car insurance policy should you get into an accident.

You often rent cars from rental agencies or through car sharing

Purchasing insurance any time you are driving a rental car is extremely wise. Non owned auto insurance not only covers you when driving a rental car but it is often less expensive than buying insurance directly from the rental car agency.

Plus, an endorsement of this kind usually features better coverage, as you get both comprehensive and collision coverage, rather than just collision coverage which is standard at many rental companies.

You want to avoid a lapse in auto insurance coverage

Another reason that some people choose to take out a non owned auto endorsement if they want to avoid a lapse in car insurance coverage in their insurance history.

For example, if you recently sold your car or lost it due to damage and do not plan to buy a new car for a short period of time, you could be at risk for a gap in your insurance history. This can lead to increased rates the next time you go to purchase a policy.

Thankfully, by taking out a non owned auto liability endorsement, you can fill this gap while protecting yourself if you borrow another person’s vehicle until you buy a new one of your own.

What non owned auto insurance covers in Ontario

Non owned auto insurance policies vary between provinces. However, in Ontario, your coverage will include the following:

Reach out to BrokerLink

To learn more about non owned auto insurance, including who it is meant for, what it covers, and how you can add it to a car insurance policy, reach out to BrokerLink today. We can explain how this type of endorsement works in every Canadian province, including Ontario with its OPCF27 non owned liability coverage.

As a full-service insurance broker, we can compare rates on your behalf to ensure we find you the best possible coverage for your needs. We can also give you tips on ways to keep the cost of non owned auto insurance down, such as by purchasing multiple auto insurance policies. If you have other car insurance-related questions, like: What is a pink slip? a BrokerLink insurance advisor can answer those too.

To begin your car insurance journey and receive a free auto insurance quote today, contact BrokerLink. You can request your free non owned auto insurance quote over the phone, in person at one of our insurance branches, or on our website using the free online quote tool!

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