Demystifying OPCF-27: The Key to Insuring Borrowed Cars in Ontario

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 30 Jun 2023

a person driving a car

    Driving someone else’s car can offer convenience and save you money, but it can also fray your nerves when it comes to insurance coverage. In Ontario, the level of risk depends on whether or not you have OPCF-27 coverage. This article will explain everything you need to know before getting behind the wheel of someone else’s vehicle safely.

    Understanding OPCF-27: An Overview

    Ontario Policy Change Forms (OPCF) 27 allows drivers to change, add or reduce the amount of coverage for certain situations. In this case, it provides optional coverage for drivers who operate a vehicle that they do not own or lease. This coverage extends to vehicles not listed on the driver’s insurance policy. In short, it gives the driver added protection against accidents and damage while driving.

    However, OPCF-27 coverage is not automatically included in most car insurance policies. Drivers who may need this coverage should speak to their insurance provider to determine if they qualify for OPCF-27. Naturally, it may come at an additional cost.

    What is OPCF-27?

    OPCF-27 is specifically designed for drivers who may need to operate a vehicle that they do not own or lease. For instance, they can apply it to a friend’s car or a rental car. This provides added insurance coverage to the driver, protecting them against liability and damage in the event of an accident.

    Of course, OPCF-27 coverage does not replace rental car insurance. Yes, it may provide some coverage for damage or injury caused while operating a rental car. Yet, it is always best to purchase rental car insurance directly from the rental car company to ensure full coverage.

    Why is OPCF-27 Important?

    Without OPCF-27 coverage, a driver who causes damage or injury while operating someone else’s car may be liable for the costs associated with a collision. This can cause a significant financial burden, especially if the driver cannot cover the costs out of pocket. By adding OPCF-27 coverage to an existing insurance policy, a driver can protect themselves against these potential costs.

    Additionally, OPCF-27 coverage can provide peace of mind for drivers who frequently borrow or rent vehicles. Knowing that they have full coverage can alleviate the stress and worry that can come with operating someone else’s car.

    However, OPCF-27 coverage may have certain limitations and exclusions. For example, it may not provide coverage for damage caused while driving a vehicle for commercial purposes, such as a delivery driver or ride-share driver. Drivers should always carefully review their insurance policy and speak with their insurance provider to fully understand their coverage.

    The Legalities of Driving Someone Else’s Car in Ontario

    Driving in Ontario is a privilege and it comes with a set of responsibilities. Before getting behind the wheel of someone else’s car, take time to understand the legal requirements for driving in Ontario. Not only do you need certain documents to operate a vehicle, but also proper insurance coverage.

    Insurance Requirements

    Ontario law requires all drivers to have standard auto insurance coverage. If you plan on driving someone else’s car, you must ensure that the vehicle has valid insurance that meets Ontario’s minimum requirements. Also, note that insurance coverage gets attached to the vehicle, not the driver. Therefore, the vehicle owner must ensure that their car is insured.

    If the vehicle’s insurance policy does not cover you as a driver, you may need to add OPCF-27 coverage. By augmenting your own insurance policy, you protect yourself while operating the car. OPCF-27’s endorsement extends coverage to drivers not named on the vehicle owner’s policy. As a result, this can provide additional protection in the event of a collision.

    Liability and Coverage

    When driving another person’s car, you accept responsibility for any damage or injury that you cause while on the road. Without proper insurance coverage, you could become liable for the costs associated with any problems that occur. OPCF-27 coverage can help protect you and the vehicle owner against these potential costs.

    Even if you have OPCF-27 coverage, you may still be liable for damages that exceed the policy limit. Therefore, always discuss insurance coverage with the vehicle owner before driving their car.

    Potential Consequences of Driving Without OPCF-27

    If you get behind the wheel of someone else’s car without OPCF-27 coverage and are involved in a collision, you may have to pay costs associated with any damages or injuries. This can grow to a significant expense, especially if you cannot cover the costs in one payment. Additionally, driving without proper insurance coverage could result in fines and legal consequences.

    Of course, driving without insurance coverage is not only illegal, but also risky. Accidents can happen at any time, so have the proper coverage to protect yourself and others on the road. Remember, driving without proper insurance coverage can result in significant financial and legal consequences.

    How to Obtain OPCF-27 Coverage

    If you need to drive another person’s car and do not have OPCF-27 coverage, you can take several steps to obtain the necessary coverage.

    Contacting Your Insurance Provider

    First, contact your insurance provider and inquire about adding OPCF-27 coverage to your existing policy. Your provider can walk you through the process and help you determine how much coverage you need to meet your specific needs.

    Before meeting your insurance provider, gather all the necessary information. This may include the vehicle’s make and model, the length of time you will need coverage for and your driving history. The more information you have, the easier your provider will assist you in obtaining the necessary coverage.

    Next, ask your insurance provider any questions you may have about the coverage. This can include questions about deductibles, limits and any exclusions that may apply. Understanding your coverage fully will help you make informed decisions about your insurance needs. If needed, compare auto insurance options to find a better deal.

    Assessing Your Coverage Needs

    Before adding OPCF-27 coverage, assess your coverage to ensure that you have the necessary protection while driving someone else’s car. This may include considering the value of the vehicle and the amount of coverage provided by the owner’s insurance policy.

    When doing this assessment, think about the potential risks involved in driving this other car. For example, if your friend owns a high-value vehicle, you may want to consider higher coverage limits to protect yourself.

    You should also consider your driving history when determining your coverage needs. If you have a history of collisions or traffic violations, you may want to consider higher coverage limits.

    Adding OPCF-27 to Your Existing Policy

    Once you have determined your coverage needs, you can add OPCF-27 coverage to your existing insurance policy. This will provide you with added protection when driving another car, giving you peace of mind while on the road. On average, this addition costs $50 per year.

    When adding OPCF-27 coverage to your policy, review the details of the coverage with your insurance provider. This can include the coverage limits, deductibles and any exclusions that may apply.

    Finally, review your policy regularly to ensure that your coverage meets your changing needs. If you plan on driving someone else’s car more frequently, for example, you may want to consider increasing your coverage limits to provide added protection.

    Do I need OPCF-27 if my credit card includes car rental insurance?

    Some credit cards offer great perks, like rental car insurance coverage. In this case, you may think that you’ll get a free ride. Not so fast!

    At times, coverage included with your credit card may only account for collisions or thefts. Yet, you may encounter a situation where you have to deal with an injury or other fallout. 

    Before you skip the extra cushion of OPCF 27, check the fine print of your credit card contract. That will save you some heartache in the long run. You won’t know what limits and restrictions you face until you do your research.

    Tips for Safely Driving Someone Else’s Car

    Driving a different car can make for a convenient option in certain situations, but it also comes with added responsibility. While OPCF-27 coverage can provide added protection, you must still act as a safe and responsible driver. Keep these tips in mind:

    Familiarizing Yourself with the Vehicle

    Before getting behind the wheel, take some time to familiarize yourself with the vehicle. This includes adjusting the mirrors and seat to ensure optimal visibility. Next, test the brakes and other controls to ensure they work well. Additionally, make yourself aware of any unique features or quirks of the car, such as a sensitive accelerator or a tricky clutch.

    If you have never driven this type of car, take time to read the owner’s manual or research it online. This can help you better understand how the car works and any specific features or functions that you’ll need to know.

    Ensuring Proper Documentation

    Make sure you have all the necessary documentation with you before driving, including your driver’s license and proof of insurance. You should also ensure that the vehicle’s registration and insurance information stays up-to-date. If you don’t know the status of the car’s insurance or registration, ask the owner for clarification before getting behind the wheel.

    Further, make yourself aware of any restrictions or limitations on your own insurance policy. Some policies don’t provide coverage for collisions that occur while driving someone else’s car, so confirm your coverage before driving.

    Communicating with the Car Owner

    Before driving, talk with the vehicle owner to ensure that you understand their expectations and any specific rules or restrictions. This can help prevent any misunderstandings or conflicts while on the road. For example, the owner may have specific instructions for how to handle certain situations. Always follow their advice, such as driving on a particular type of road or in inclement weather.

    In short, remain respectful of the owner’s property and treat the car with care. Avoid eating or drinking in the car and avoid any potential hazards that could damage the vehicle.

    By following these tips, you help ensure a safe and stress-free driving experience when behind the wheel of another car.

    OPCF-27 Coverage in Ontario: The Bottom Line

    Driving someone else’s car can be convenient, but always ensure that you properly protect yourself against liability and damage. By understanding OPCF-27 coverage and following these tips for safe driving, you can protect yourself and the vehicle owner while. We wish you safe travels!

    Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications