Coverage to drive vehicles you don’t own

You’re driving your friend’s car and you get into an accident – are you covered for damaging their car? Or, say you had an accident in your own car and now you’re left without transportation – how are you going to keep up with your daily routine?

These are two circumstances that we often hear about from our customers, and they’re unsure of what they should do. Introducing our auto coverage expert and Customer Service Hero, Joe. He has info on two optional auto coverages that would help you out if you ever found yourself in a similar situation.

Open "Coverage to drive vehicles you don’t own with Joe" text transcript.

[intro music]

>> Joe: This is kind of weird being on camera right now.

>> Director: Take one, mark [slate]

>> Joe: Hey, I'm Joe. I work at Sonnet. I'm going to taking you through some optional coverages for auto insurance.

>> Joe: So, if you're driving someone else's vehicle and you get into a fender bender, you might want to make sure you've got damage to non-owned auto coverage on your policy.

>> Joe: This will actually cover you for your loss or damage to that non-owned vehicle whether it's rented or borrowed.

>> Director: Have you ever personally driven a friend's car?

>> Joe: I don't actually have a license. [laughs]

>> Joe: So on other hand if you get into an accident with your own car, we do have an optional coverage called transportation replacement, that will provide you with a rental vehicle.

>> Joe: So, customers that would be eligible for transportation replacement-- you'd need some liability and some form of physical damage on your auto policy.

>> Joe: Now, majority of people would assume that these coverages are already included within your policy but it's always best to check with your insurance provider and get in touch with them and please drive safely out there.

>> Joe: Again? [laughs]

>> Camera Operator: You nailed it!

>> Joe: Again! [laughs]

Damage to non-owned vehicles coverage 

If you sometimes borrow a friend’s car or use a rental vehicle, this coverage was created for you. By adding this additional coverage, your insurance can extend to cover loss or damage to that vehicle. Without it, you could be on the hook financially if something happens that isn’t covered by the vehicle’s own insurance policy. Plus, if you happen to damage your friend’s car, things can get pretty awkward if they have to bear the burden of claiming on their own policy.

This coverage can give you peace of mind and it can save you money. If you’re renting a car, it can be a lot cheaper than purchasing coverage from the rental company. Typically, physical damage coverage can cost around $30 per day if you buy it at the rental counter. Whereas, it can cost as little as $30 for an entire year if it’s added on to your insurance policy.

Of course, there are some terms that apply. Here are some main pointers to know, but be sure to check with your insurer for particular questions.

  • This coverage is only for Canada and the US. So, if you’re planning on driving a little further, you’ll need coverage that’s catered to that country.
  • Each insurer will have its own rules around the specifics, but there are limits to the weight and value of the vehicle. Basically, the vehicle needs to be comparable to your own. It’s pretty unlikely you’d be covered for damage to a Ferrari, or a large moving truck, if you own a Honda Civic.
  • Damage is only covered for drivers listed on your policy. If you were sharing your rental with a friend and they had an accident, this coverage wouldn’t apply.
  • You’re covered up to a certain dollar limit or a certain number of days each year (depending on your insurer).

Transportation replacement coverage  

If you’re in an accident or your car is stolen, you’ll likely need another way to get around until things are sorted out. That can get expensive (and not to mention stressful). Thankfully, your insurer could provide you with a rental vehicle to keep your routine running smoothly.

Unlike the “damage to non-owned vehicles” coverage, your insurer can reimburse you for the cost of the rental car. Or, if a rental vehicle isn’t for you, you can be reimbursed for the reasonable cost of taxis or public transportation instead.

Again, we’ve listed some things to be aware of, but be sure to check with your insurer if you have other questions about the coverage.

  • The substitute vehicle should be similar to your own insured vehicle. So sadly, that Ferrari can’t temporarily replace your Honda Civic in this case either.
  • You’ll be covered with a substitution vehicle until your vehicle is repaired or replaced, or the claim is settled, or you’ve reached your insurers duration limit for the coverage.

Who’s eligible for these coverages? 

You may be eligible if you have liability coverage and some form of physical damage coverage on your policy, such as comprehensive and collision, all perils or specified perils.

Tip: Have you already got your car insurance with Sonnet? We call these coverages the Rental Extension Bundle. They come as a pair to make it easy for you to have all the coverage you need. If you qualify for them, you can add these coverages via your account, whenever you like.



Coverage your car’s always wanted at a competitive price.