Can I let Someone Else Drive My Car?
We’ve all encountered situations where we’ve either needed to borrow a car from a friend or family member, or have loaned out our own vehicle to someone else to help them out. Make sure you’re covered in the event that your vehicle is involved in an accident (even if you’re not driving) by learning more about who is covered under your auto insurance policy, and what kind of impact an accident can have on your policy premium.
Consider The Driver Before Handing Over The Keys
If your friend or family member asks to borrow your vehicle, make sure they’re fit to drive. You should never permit an unlicensed driver to drive your car, and you should never allow a person who is intoxicated or has a history of reckless driving to borrow your vehicle either. If you allow an unfit driver to drive your car, you could be held liable for injuries or damages if they get into an accident.
Does My Insurance Cover Additional Drivers?
It does depend on which state you live in, but generally speaking, your auto insurance will cover damage to your vehicle, even if you’re not driving it (as long as the driver has a license and is fit to drive). It’s important to consider that if the driver gets into an accident while driving your car, your insurance company would likely be responsible for paying the claim, which could impact your future car insurance rates.
Depending on the nature and severity of an accident, your existing policy may cover various kinds of damage. Usually, comprehensive and collision coverage cover your car even when someone else is behind the wheel. It’s important to understand your individual policy, as some policies have exclusions or limitations of coverage, should an accident occur. In certain cases, policies don’t even cover relatives living in your home unless they are named on your policy, so you’ll want to very carefully examine your individual coverage (or speak with your local agent) to make sure you have the protection you need.
If the person driving your car is involved in an accident where they were not at fault, the other driver’s insurance covers the cost of damages and injuries. In the event that the person you loaned your vehicle to is found to be at fault, your insurance company is usually the one that has to cover the costs of damage. In severe cases, where the costs of the accident exceed the limits of your insurance coverage, your insurance company may ask the other driver’s insurance to cover the remaining expenses. It’s always a good idea to play it safe and make sure that the person who’s borrowing your vehicle also has auto insurance coverage, just in case.
Permissive VS Non-Permissive Users
In the event of an accident, whether your insurance will cover the person driving your car can strongly depend on whether that person is a permissive or non-permissive user. A permissive user is a driver who has permission to use your car, while a non-permissive user is someone who drivees your car without explicit permission to do so. In most cases, permissive users are covered by your insurance policy, but you want to check to see if coverage limits are lower for these types of drivers. Non-permissive users are usually not covered under your auto insurance in the event of a crash. For these drivers, their insurance is usually held responsible to cover the costs of repairs or injuries in an accident. For example, if a friend borrows your car without your permission and gets into an accident, they would be held responsible for the damages.
Make Sure You’re covered, No Matter Who’s Driving Your Vehicle
Navigating your auto insurance coverage can be tricky, and your local agent is here to help you make sure you’ve got the protection you need. If you’re planning to loan out your vehicle for the short term or long term, contact your local agent for assistance. They’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have to make sure your vehicle has the right coverage in the event of an accident.