Does Your Auto Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?

girl driving car

Most states mandate auto liability insurance for all drivers to protect them from financial liability when at fault for car accidents. Optional coverages like collision and comprehensive also can shield you against financial loss after car theft or damage in a crash. However, you may wonder if your own policy protects other people when driving your car. Read on to find out whether auto insurance follows the car or the driver.

Can You Drive Another Person’s Car Without Your Car Insurance?

Generally, you don’t need your liability policy to drive another person’s car. But you would need their permission to drive their car with their insurance protection. Also, if someone else, such as a parent, lists you on their policy, you’ll automatically get their coverage when driving their automobile.

Which Accidents Won’t Insurance Cover if Caused by Someone Else Driving Your Car?

If a friend or family member driving your car causes an accident, your insurer may reject any claim for it on several grounds.

Possible reasons for claims denial include:

  1. Non-permissive use:The individual drove your car without your permission.
  2. Excluded driver: You’ve listed the driver as not insured on your policy.
  3. DUI accidents: If anybody borrows your car and crashes it while intoxicated, they may be on the hook for any third-party damages or bodily injuries.
  4. Unlicensed driver: Auto policies don’t cover unlicensed drivers.

Will Insurance Pay When Your Teenage Child Causes an Accident with Your Car?

To provide auto accident coverage for your licensed teenage child, make sure to name them as insured on your policy. This way, they’re protected if they cause an accident while driving your car. Provided that your teen driver has a learner’s permit, they’re generally covered by your policy even if they’re not listed on it yet.

However, you’re financially exposed if you let your teenager drive your car without a permit or license. Your insurer may reject your claim for any resulting damage or injury. Still, you could file a claim on your auto policy if the child drove your car without permission before crashing it. This option may require you to file a police report against your child. As the at-fault driver’s parent, you may be liable for the damage anyway.

How is Your Premium Affected If Another Person Causes an Accident in Your Car?

Any accident caused by a driver that’s covered by your policy can trigger an increase in your auto insurance rate. The impact on your premiums is the same as that of an accident you cause as the car owner.

What About Insurance Coverage When Driving a Borrowed Car?

When you’re driving a friend’s car, their policy covers you. It would pay for damages/injuries you cause while driving the car. However, you’re only covered if you have the owner’s permission to drive when you caused the accident.

Does Your Car Insurance Cover You When Driving Someone Else’s Car?

The short answer is no since car insurance policies generally follow the vehicle, not the motorist. But you would be covered under the car owner’s insurance policy up to a specified limit.

Are you shopping for “car insurance near me” today? If so, you should consider how the various coverage options available can work for you and anybody else driving your car. Contact our experts at Udell Family Insurance for help finding a policy that suits your budget and needs. We’re happy to review your coverage right away!

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