Coverage and Liability for Borrowed Vehicles
We are all aware that anything can happen and certain circumstances can arise but before you let anyone get behind the wheel of your car, whether it is a family member, friend or someone else they need to check with their agent and ask about the rules and regulations that come with letting anyone drive your vehicle and how the insurance coverage will work in case of an accident. The people that want to drive your car need to be licensed and you should contact your agent before lending your vehicle over. If you are planning on letting someone borrow your car for a long period of time you need to make sure they are added to your policy and or make sure they have insurance in their name.
The question of allowing other drivers to drive your car and whether or not they will be covered by your existing auto insurance is something you need to talk with your agent about. It is very important to make sure you know about your vehicle coverage not only to protect the insured but for anyone who drives that car and to look out for others on the road. Unfortunately, there is not a direct yes or no answer since this is something that varies from policy to policy. When purchasing auto insurance, you should talk to your agent about who precisely is covered and what happens if you give permission to someone to drive your vehicle and there is an accident.
There are 2 major forms of coverage for auto insurance:
Liability insurance coverage on a personal auto policy follows the driver no matter whose vehicle is being operated.
Comprehensive and collision auto insurance coverage, are tied to the insureds vehicle (they follow the car). These coverages pay for damage that falls under the insureds vehicle as a result of an accident or vandalism. With comprehensive insurance which covers almost everything, it is the car rather than the driver that is covered. This however, brings up the question on who is allowed to drive the car. If someone other than the insured is driving a vehicle covered by comprehensive coverage and is not listed as a covered driver even if the other person has permission the other person might not be covered in an accident. Another important factor can be where that person lives and if they are related to you. If someone is living in your household and they regularly drive your car, then the insurance carrier expects you to have that person named on the policy.
Be cautious about who you let get in the driver seat of your vehicle and avoid letting someone who has a suspended license or has been drinking to drive because it is illegal and can be very dangerous.
If there are any questions about your auto coverage please contact your agent to ensure that the insured understands and has the best of knowledge to protect themselves and others in the future.