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Car Insurance forms (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Car Insurance forms (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Driving Concerns

My daughter moved back home, must she be an occasional driver on my insurance? Add to ...

My unemployed 38-year-old daughter has just moved back in with us. We have two vehicles - a 2012 Honda Odyssey and a 2017 Mercedes GLE - but she has her own car (for now). Do I have to include her as an occasional driver on our insurance policies? She won’t be driving them regularly (and I don’t want her driving the Mercedes at all since she’s crashed a few cars in her day). I see a lot of information online about Ontario, but none about other provinces. What are the rules ? - Louise, Hudson, Que.

And adult makes three? If a grown child moves back into your house in Quebec, you won’t have to pay more for insurance - as long as your kid has her own ride.

“If all the residents in the house have their own car, they will each pay a premium to their own insurer,” said Caroline Phémius, spokeswoman for the Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC).

And if your daughter gets rid of her car? She’ll be added to the Mercedes.

“In Quebec, an occasional driver will automatically be added to the most expensive car to insure,” Phémius said. “But if the owner only wants the occasional driver to drive the cheapest car, the insurer can issue an endorsement (FAQ 28) that will only cover the expensive car’s liability if the occasional driver is driving it.”

Figuring out the rules for each province can get confusing. In British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which have government-run insurance, only the principal driver gets listed on a policy and you don’t pay for additional drivers.

“This is the person who will operate the vehicle the majority of the time it will be operated during the policy term,” said Lindsay Olsen, spokeswoman for the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC), in an e-mail.

But, even there it can still get tricky. In British Columbia and Saskatchewan, you can buy additional coverage, like comprehensive, from private companies. And those companies could charge you more for occasional drivers.

And in British Columbia, if anyone who’s had their driving licence for less than 10 years is driving your car, you’ll lose the experience discount and pay more.

In some provinces, like Ontario, anyone in your home with a driver’s licence is automatically added to your policy as an occasional driver - even if they have their own car and insurance policy.

You can exclude them from your policy by filling out driver endorsement form 28A for each person.

They’ll each have to sign too, agreeing that they won’t be covered for your vehicle.

If that driver ever does take your car out, he (and your car) won’t have insurance coverage. If there was an accident, he could be sued.

Most provinces have their own 28A forms to exclude a driver - but New Brunswick doesn’t, the IBC said.

In others, you only have to include the people who’ll actually be driving your car.

“The regulated automobile insurance application in Alberta asks the applicant to ‘list all the drivers of the described Automobile(s) in the household,’” said Mike Berezowsky, spokesman for Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, in an e-mail. “That said, if there is a claim and the driver is an unlisted household member, the insurance company has the right to question the truthfulness of the application.”

And if you lend your car to your pals visiting from out of town? They’re covered, as long as they have a valid driver’s licence. In most provinces, if they get in a crash and are at-fault, it’s your insurance policy that could take a hit.

But in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, if they crash your car, their rates - not yours - go up.

Have a driving question? Send it to globedrive@globeandmail.com. Canada’s a big place, so let us know where you are so we can find the answer for your city and province.

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