Does Insurance Follow the Car or Driver?
It’s a familiar scenario: your car is being repaired at the mechanic’s shop and you have no way of getting around. Or maybe you’re visiting home from college and want to meet up with some buddies, but you left your car on campus. Should you borrow someone else’s car? What if you’re involved in an accident—will your insurance still cover you? And should you allow someone else to borrow yours?
As a driver, you may find yourself having to temporarily drive someone else’s vehicle or lending your own vehicle to someone else. Whatever the situation, there are a few things you should be aware of. Will you (and your vehicle) be safe in the event of a collision? Here are the answers to whether insurance follows the car or the driver.
Car vs. Driver Coverage
Insurance coverage differs from one insurer to the next and from one policy to the next. Various factors will determine your level of coverage. The names stated on the insurance policy, the state in which you live, and whether you have authorization to drive someone else’s car are all factors that determine to what degree a person or vehicle is insured.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Other Drivers Who Operate My Vehicle?
Your auto insurance will usually cover other drivers operating your vehicle if they’re named on the policy. This could include your partner, parents, siblings, or children. Other members of the household may also be included.
However, the situation becomes murkier for people who aren’t mentioned on your coverage, such as friends or extended family members. In this scenario, the policyholder’s consent usually determines coverage. If someone else drives your car with your permission (i.e., you’ve told them they can drive it or you’ve given them the keys), your policy should cover them.
Does My Car Insurance Cover Me When I’m Driving Another Vehicle?
As we said, you’ll be insured when driving another car if you’re specifically included on the owner’s insurance policy—even if it’s not your own. However, if the car-owner’s policy doesn’t list you, the owner’s consent determines your coverage. You’re probably covered if the driver gave you permission to operate the car or, at the very least, if there’s a reasonable belief that you have permission to drive it.
For example, if you’re paying to drive the automobile—such as renting it from a rental car business or via a car-sharing service—owner authorization is assumed. However, remember that your comprehensive coverage may not apply to a rented or borrowed car. Liability coverage usually extends to the vehicle, but comprehensive and collision coverage may not. The good news is that if you get into an accident while driving a rented automobile, the owner’s car insurance should cover you.
Ultimately, if you’re asking whether insurance follows the car or driver, the insurance will always cover the driver—even if they’re driving someone else’s car. If you’re looking to purchase a broad-form insurance policy, be sure to reach out to Serenity Group. We are dedicated to making the insurance-buying process as easy and simple for you as possible.