“Hey, can I borrow your car to head to the grocery store real quick?” If you’ve borrowed someone else’s car or let someone use yours to run an errand, you may have wondered how car insurance works in these situations. Will your auto insurance cover damages if someone borrows your car and gets into an accident?
Typically, auto insurance follows the car and not the driver, so you’ll be covered up to your policy’s limits if you give someone permission to use your vehicle and they get into an accident. However, there are times when the answer isn’t so simple. So, let’s go over some factors that could affect coverage.
Will My Auto Insurance Cover Someone That Borrows My Car?
Since car insurance typically follows the vehicle, you’ll likely have coverage options if someone borrows your car and gets into an accident. In these situations, most states consider the auto insurance policy covering the vehicle as the primary insurance. This means the car owner’s insurance will pay for damages caused even if the person borrowing the car carries their own insurance. However, for your insurer to cover the accident, the borrower must have your permission, not drive your vehicle regularly, and not be excluded from your policy.
If the above criteria is met, your provider will likely cover damages if someone crashes your car. But, depending on your insurance and the details of the accident, the borrower’s insurance may act as a backup if further coverage is needed.
Permissive Vs. Non-Permissive Use
One of the main factors that will determine if your car insurance covers someone that borrows your car is permission. Permissive use is when you give another driver permission to use your vehicle temporarily. Although most standard policies will cover permissive use accidents, some insurers may not or may limit coverage in these scenarios. Always speak with your insurance agent to confirm what your policy allows.
What if someone takes your car without your permission and gets into an accident? This is called non-permissive use and possibly theft, which means your auto insurance will likely cover no damages if you don’t carry collision and comprehensive insurance.
If you live with multiple adult drivers, your insurance will require you to list them on your policy. However, some states allow you to exclude drivers from your household who will not, or won’t be allowed to, use your car. For example, you may choose to exclude someone in your household with an unfavorable driving record to avoid higher rates. If an excluded driver crashes your vehicle, your insurance will likely deny any claims.
The following states do not allow you to exclude drivers: Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
The frequency in which an individual borrows your car can also affect coverage if someone else gets into an accident operating your vehicle. Most insurers will provide coverage under permissive use if the borrower uses your vehicle once or highly infrequently. But if the borrower uses your car often and lives in the same household, your claim could be denied as that driver should’ve already been listed on your policy.
For example, let’s say a babysitter uses your car once a week to pick up your children from school. Although the individual does not live with you, your insurer may require you to add them to your policy due to the frequency with which they use your vehicle.
Listing Others on Your Policy
To protect yourself financially, you should add any regular drivers of your vehicle to your insurance policy. That way, if a listed driver borrows your vehicle and gets into an accident, you’ll be covered. Some states or providers may require you to list any driving-age people that live with you. This includes roommates, spouses, and family members. You can also add individuals that do not live with you but drive your vehicle regularly to your insurance policy.
So, Will My Car Insurance Work If Someone Borrows My Car?
In most cases, your car insurance will work if someone borrows your car. However, it’s important to do so with caution, as there are situations where your insurer can deny your claims.
The easiest way to avoid any issues is by speaking with an insurance specialist to understand your coverage. Does someone borrow your car on a regular basis? Do family members have access to your vehicles? In such situations, speaking with an agent can help clear any questions you may have. To speak with an AIS insurance specialist today, call (888) 772-4247, or visit our blog for more insights.
The information in this article is obtained from various sources and offered for educational purposes only. Furthermore, it should not replace the advice of a qualified professional. The definitions, terms, and coverage in a given policy may be different than those suggested here. No warranty or appropriateness for a specific purpose is expressed or implied.