Alberta auto insurance: who can drive your insured vehicle?


One of the many aspects of car ownership or regular driving in Alberta is understanding who’s covered to drive your vehicle under your auto insurance. Whether you’re lending your car to a friend for a quick grocery run or allowing a family member to use it on a regular basis, knowing the rules and restrictions can help you avoid issues down the road.

Are all drivers covered under you auto insurance? Let’s find out.  


Legal requirements for drivers in Alberta

In Alberta, the rules for who can drive an insured vehicle are straightforward but crucial to follow:

  • Any person operating a vehicle must possess a valid Alberta driver’s licence  appropriate for the type of vehicle being driven. 
  • The vehicle must be properly registered and insured in Alberta, with the insurance policy covering the driver. 
  • The owner must authorize any person to drive the vehicle or have legal permission for the same, in compliance with all local traffic laws.  

Westland Registry Agents are in place to offer registration, information and licensing services on behalf of the Alberta Government. Click here to learn more or find a branch near you.


Understanding auto insurance policy coverage and restrictions

Unlisted drivers are those who can drive your vehicle with your permission if they have a valid Alberta driver’s license. While unlisted drivers are usually covered under standard auto insurance policies, there are instances where that’s not the case. Exceptions exist, particularly if the driver is categorized as “high risk,” potentially affecting coverage or premiums.

If the individual driving your vehicle is a licensed operator residing in your household, such as a spouse, child, or frequent driver, it’s important to inform your insurance broker. They’ll need to be added to your policy for coverage.

To avoid additional premiums for extra drivers, it’s crucial to exclude them from driving your vehicle. It’s important to bear in mind that if such a driver is involved in an accident while driving your vehicle, the claim remains on your insurance policy, not with the driver.


Why knowing who can drive your vehicle matters

Imagine a scenario where, unbeknownst to the owner, a friend takes their insured car out and gets into an accident, leading to coverage disputes due to the unauthorized use of the car. Or consider a related instance where an unlisted driver incurs additional liability which is now the vehicle owner’s responsibility.

It’s also important to note that young drivers who don’t meet the policy requirements may face limitations imposed by insurance providers. This can lead to a breach of the policy’s terms knowingly or unknowingly. These examples are why it’s essential to be fully informed about the individuals who are covered to drive your vehicle under your policy and any potential limitations applicable to them.  


Clarify your driver authorization

To avoid unpleasant surprises, it’s recommended to review your auto insurance policy to understand and clarify driver authorization with your insurance broker. This might include updating policy details to include all drivers who regularly operate the vehicle, or checking potential restrictions and exceptions that you might not have been aware of. Being informed about the rules and restrictions surrounding driver authorization can ensure a smoother and less risky journey for you and your vehicle in Alberta.  So, make it a point to review your policy today and drive with confidence!


Questions about driver authorization or anything auto insurance related? Our team is here to answer your questions and ensure you’re safe on the road. Connect with us today. 

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