Driving someone else’s car is something you might do without giving insurance coverage much thought. If you’re borrowing a friend or family member’s vehicle once in a while, you may not need insurance. However, there are circumstances where your own auto insurance is necessary. Learn when this applies and the options available for uninsured drivers.
Does Insurance Follow the Car?
Generally, full coverage car insurance policies follow the vehicle instead of the driver. Therefore, when borrowing another person’s car, you are fully insured and have coverage under the vehicle’s policy. If you crash a friend’s car, the owner’s auto insurance typically includes collision coverage, covering damage to the vehicle.
Check their policy to determine what type of insurance coverage the borrowed vehicle has. If you have insurance on your own vehicle, parts of your coverage may extend to the borrowed car. You can check your policy details or ask your insurance agent to confirm your protection.
Permission Matters for Non-Owners
Permissive use offers you coverage from the car owner’s insurance if they have permitted you to drive their car. Their liability coverage will cover property damage or injuries you cause while using their car.
Not all auto insurance companies provide coverage for permissive use, and some may only provide limited coverage. They may also charge higher deductibles for claims involving permissive use. If you’re using the car for business reasons, permissive use coverage may not apply.
If you borrow someone else’s car without their permission and get into an accident, you will be responsible for the damages. The owner will have to prove that you didn’t have their permission to drive their car for this to occur.
Other Circumstances Where Someone Else’s Car Insurance Doesn’t Cover You
Being an excluded driver on the policy of the car you are borrowing will leave you without coverage. Policyholders can submit names of people they don’t want covered under their insurance. The reasons for excluding someone from a car’s insurance policy mainly involve lowering the cost of the policy.
Removing someone considered high risk like senior citizens, new drivers, and those with a bad driving history from your insurance can help reduce your monthly premiums.
People without a valid driver’s license will not have coverage under the owner’s insurance policy. The financial and legal consequences of an unlicensed driver would burden both you and the car owner in the event of an accident.
Anyone who gets into an accident while driving their car under the influence of drugs or alcohol may not be protected by the owner’s car insurance.
Do You Need Your Own Insurance to Drive Someone Else’s Car?
Many drivers are required to have auto insurance if they own and operate a car. However, if you have a driver’s license but don’t own a car, you may not have insurance coverage. Drivers without car insurance who borrow other people’s vehicles often may want to consider a non-owner car insurance policy.
Non-owner car insurance is a liability policy that allows you to drive other people’s cars while enjoying full coverage. A non-owner policy usually only offers liability coverage, which covers property damage and bodily injury that others suffer from an accident you cause. Some insurance companies offer add-ons to non-owner plans to provide personal injury protection.
When You Should Consider Non-Owner Car Insurance
There are a few situations when getting a non-owner insurance policy can offer you peace of mind when driving someone else’s car.
You Rent Cars Regularly
If you use a rental car regularly but want a cheaper alternative to the liability insurance that rental companies offer, you can take out a non-owner insurance policy. With all but two states, Virginia and New Hampshire, requiring drivers to have liability coverage to drive legally within their borders, a non-owner policy is useful for those who use rentals more than a few days per year.
You Drive Someone Else’s Car Regularly
Despite the other person’s car insurance offering permissive use, you may only have coverage up to the car’s policy limits if you get into an accident. A non-owner car insurance policy will cover the rest of the costs and make sure you don’t have to contribute out-of-pocket if expensive damage and injury occur.
You’re in Between Cars
If you sell your car and will be buying a new one in a matter of weeks or a few months, you should hold onto your regular car insurance coverage.
A lapse in your coverage may result in savings in the short term but could cause higher rates in the future as insurers will consider you a risk. Purchasing a non-owner policy while between cars signals to your insurer that you are seeking coverage in the interim and prevents your premiums from rising.
What to Consider When Lending Your Car
If you’re lending out your vehicle, consider a few things. Is the person borrowing your car a good driver? Lending your car to someone with a poor driving record increases the chances that your premiums could go up.
Double-check that your auto insurance policy is up-to-date. You should do this regardless of whether you allow other people to drive your car. The person borrowing your car can end up in financial and legal trouble if they get into an accident and your vehicle is uninsured.
Learn More About Car Insurance
While you can drive someone else’s car without being on their insurance plan, being responsible and making sure you have the right coverage is the right thing to do. Check to see if the car you are borrowing is insured. Consider getting a non-owner insurance policy so you can borrow other people’s vehicles without the anxiety of financial consequences.
There are several types of car insurance that you can get for a vehicle. Depending on your budget and insurance needs, you can choose from liability coverage and collision insurance to comprehensive coverage and uninsured motorist insurance. Finding a car insurance plan with the right coverage involves knowing what to look for.
Finance is us is offers you the knowledge to make informed choices about your car insurance. Discover the car insurance terms you need to know to find the right policy and learn how to save money on your next insurance plan.
Disclaimer: All content on this site is information of a general nature and does not address the circumstances of any particular entity or individual, nor is the information a substitute for professional financial advice and services.