Does Car Insurance Follow a Person Or a Car?

Lucy Lazarony
November 3, 2020

Some types of car insurance follows the driver but in general car insurance follows the car. Let’s say you let other family members drive your car and you even have them listed on your car insurance policy. Your car insurance would follow the car regardless of who is driving it, with your permission, of course. For other people such as friends or extended family members you’ll need to give them consent to drive your car. And if you verbally told them it was OK to drive your car or you gave them the keys then they would have your permission to drive your car. The car insurance coverage involved in borrowing someone’s else’s car or having your car borrowed depends on the terms of your car insurance policy, the state where you live and the type of accident that may take place. Let’s take a closer look at how insurance follows the car as well as occasionally the person.

What Happens If I Drive Someone Else’s Car?

If you are listed on the car owner’s insurance policy, you’ll be covered while driving the car. So if you plan on making a habit of borrowing the car, ask the owner to have your name listed on the insurance policy. If you’re not on the policy you’ll need the owner’s consent to drive. Verbal permission is enough for you to drive the car and be covered under the owner’s policy.

What Happens If Someone Else Drives My Car?

If the driver is listed on your car insurance policy driver, they can drive your car and be covered under the car insurance policy. If their name is not listed on the policy, you will need to give them permission to drive the car. Giving them verbal permission will do the trick and you can even hand them the car keys yourself. With verbal permission, the driver will be covered under your car insurance policy.

What Happens if I Rent a Car

This is one instance where the car insurance follows the driver. Your car insurance will follow you and cover a rental car. And you won’t need to buy any additional insurance at the rental car counter. Your liability insurance, your collision insurance and your comprehensive insurance and the rest of your insurance coverages are all coming with you for the duration of your car rental.

Liability, collision and comprehensive insurance coverages are important coverages to have. If you ever cause a car crash, liability insurance pays for other people’s injuries and property damage up to a liability limit. Collision insurance is coverage that helps to repair or replace your car if it is damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object such as a tree or a fence. Comprehensive auto insurance covers events that aren’t covered by collision coverage. These events include fire, theft and vandalism and damages from weather such as a windstorm, a hailstorm, a hurricane and a tornado.

Types of Car Insurance Coverages that Follow the Car or Driver

Car insurance coverages that follow the car and covers drivers who have permission to drive the car include liability insurance, collision insurance and comprehensive insurance.

Car insurance coverage that follows the driver when they’re driving another person’s car include liability, medical payments and personal injury protection (PIP). Medical payments and PIP will help pay for your medical bills and lost wages if you are unable to work following a car accident.

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Insurance Coverage that Follows the Driver

Let’s look at an example where your insurance coverage would follow you if you are driving your friend’s car and cause a car accident. If it is a serious accident and your friend’s liability coverage gets exhausted, your own liability coverage would kick in as secondary insurance.This is also the case with medical payments or PIP coverage. If your friend’s coverage reaches its limit, your own medical payments or PIP coverage would kick in as secondary coverage.

Advice for Sharing Vehicles

If you are planning to even occasionally share vehicles with another driver, you’ll want to add your names to each other’s car insurance policies. It just makes sense if you are roommates you may need to borrow the car. If you are family members and you are of driving age, there is a good chance you will be driving that vehicle. So make it official and get your name added to the driver’s insurance policy.

As for car owners, choose the people you add to your car insurance policy carefully. You are entrusting them with driving your car. Are they trustworthy? Are they good drivers? Stick with family members and friends that you really trust. As for drivers, be on your best driving behavior when you are borrowing a car. Follow all the rules of the road, including the speed limit, and have the car returned to the owner at an agreed upon time.

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