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Do I need car insurance if I don’t own a car?

For all Canadians who own vehicles, auto insurance is a must-have. Not only does insurance protect against financial loss if your vehicle is damaged, it also provides essential liability coverage in the event that someone else gets injured or sues you after an accident. But many Canadians, especially those who are younger or older or live in cities where there is good public transit, may not own a car. Instead, you may rent a car, regularly take an uber or taxi, be a member of a car-sharing program or borrow a friend’s or family member’s vehicle if you really need your own transport. So you might be wondering “do I need car insurance if I don’t own a car?”

The short answer is no, you do not need to have a car insurance policy if you do not own a vehicle. However there are a few instances in which it might be a smart idea to have a policy in place. We’ll discuss in more detail in this article.

Are you a regular renter?

If you are a person who frequently rents a car for whatever reason then you may want to consider a car insurance policy. There are non-owner policies that could work well especially if you tend to rent or borrow cars regularly. Rental companies do offer coverage when you lease one of their vehicles, however, if you do rent often then having your own insurance would be more affordable in the long run.

Do you borrow friends’ or family members’ cars?

You should be added as an occasional driver (or additional insured if you’re on the car’s registration papers) if you live at the same address. If you don’t live in the same household, the car’s owner’s insurance will cover you.

Do you participate in a car-sharing program?

Ride sharing services allow people to share cars and basically via their membership fee get use of the vehicle for a certain number of hours and/or days per week. In this situation, the services have their own insurance policies available but if this is something you do regularly then getting your own policy can help save you money.

Exploring non-owner car policies might be a good idea depending on your individual situation. This is where you want to talk to an experienced insurance broker who can show you some options lay out the various scenarios and help determine the best path for you!