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Does Car Insurance Cover Other Drivers?

Many drivers occasionally lend their vehicles to friends or family members. If you’re one of those drivers you might be concerned about what would happen if the borrower has an accident. Does car insurance cover other drivers? Or would the borrower’s own insurance pay?

Can Someone Else Drive My Car?

If you’ve ever had someone ask to borrow your car, you’ve probably wondered, “Can someone else drive my car under my insurance?” Loaning out a vehicle is a common thing, but is it a good idea? Like many questions, the answer to this is, it depends.

You will probably want to know that the person is a safe driver and has a good driving record. You’ll also want to verify that he or she has a valid driver’s license – never assume.

Beyond that, you should be wondering, “Does my car insurance cover other drivers? Or will their insurance cover my car while they’re driving it?”

You might have heard that “car insurance follows the driver.” This is only partially true. Liability insurance typically follows the driver, however comprehensive and collision coverage follows the car. As long as the driver has your permission to drive your car and isn’t explicitly excluded from your policy, it is usually your insurance that will cover damage to your vehicle when someone borrows it and causes an accident.

This also implies that if the person borrowing your car has an accident, it could end up on your insurance record. For this reason, you should be selective about who you allow to drive your car.

Can I Drive Another Car on My Insurance?

So what happens when you borrow a car? As mentioned, comprehensive and collision insurance follows the car, so if you’re at-fault in an accident while borrowing another person’s car, it is the car owner’s insurance that would cover damage to his or her vehicle. However, your own insurance would be “secondary coverage,” meaning that it would be used for damage above the limits on the vehicle owner’s policy.

You would also be responsible for personal liability, so if other people are injured or other property is damaged in an accident you caused, you would need to file a claim with your own insurance company for the liability.

Are There Exceptions?

Unsurprisingly, there are exceptions to the above rules. They are generally true in most circumstances, but you should always check the specifics of both the borrower’s and the lender’s policies and the regulations in your state.

A common situation where a borrower may not be covered by a vehicle owner’s policy is when a person uses the car on a regular basis. That person, depending on the policy, might need to be specifically listed as a driver under that policy. In some cases members of the same household are covered unless specifically excluded, but again this is not a universal rule.

Regardless of whether you are borrowing a car or lending one, you should always verify that the person driving is going to be covered, and both parties involved should know whose insurance covers which circumstances.

If you’re not insured with Freeway Insurance, chances are you’re paying too much for insurance. Request a free auto insurance quote online or over the phone at 800-777-5620 and find out how much you can save on auto insurance.

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