Who Is Covered by My Car Insurance?

Fran
Fran Majidi
April 10, 2019

Maybe you had too much to drink so you handed over your keys. Or, maybe your friend needed to borrow your car while hers was in the shop. Or, you’re on a road trip and you’re taking turns driving. In all of these situations, the lingering question is, Who is covered by my car insurance?

If there is ever an accident when you’re in any of the scenarios listed above, know that coverage of the insured vehicle is usually primary. Also, there is such a thing as permissive use, which means that even when the person driving your car is not included on your auto insurance policy, they have express permission from you to operate the vehicle on your policy so they are covered. In fact, you may be covered when you drive someone else’s car but are not on their policy because of the liability coverage on your vehicle.

For more details on when you are and are not covered, keep reading. To shop multiple car insurance quotes without having to make a single phone call, visit here.

Who Is Covered by My Car Insurance?

When you signed up for auto insurance coverage, you were probably given the option of excluding people on your car insurance. Often, the people in your household will affect your car insurance rate if they are not excluded so check your policy jacket and declaration page to make sure you are clear before you hand over the keys. Excluded individuals will not be covered by your car insurance if they have an accident. For example, let’s say you have a teenage son who is of driving age and you excluded him because he’s not allowed to drive the car and you wanted to avoid a rate hike. That’s all fine unless he gets into an accident using your car and doesn’t have his own liability insurance. In short, he will not be covered by your car insurance. If you have collision insurance and the accident was his fault, you may not be able to get your insurer to foot the bill for repairs.

What Does Excluded Driver Mean?

You can pretty much exclude anyone who has access to your car. Anyone who lives with you can be excluded. On the flip side, you’ll probably be covered if family members or anyone in your household gets into an accident using your car, but only if you did not exclude them on your car insurance policy. Household members include: a spouse, roommates and family members.

Permissive Use: What Is It?

Permissive use is just another way of saying that you let someone borrow your car. This can be a friend, family member and even out-of-state drivers who are visiting you. In most cases, these people are covered by your auto insurance policy, up to the policy’s limits. With that said, some carriers will not cover a permissive use driver 100% for various reasons, especially if they reside in another state. If you’re planning on allowing guests to use your car, it’s always best to call your insurance agent beforehand to see what you are and are not covered for. You may even want to include that driver on your policy. In general, every insurer and every policy is different, so it’s important to ask questions and never make assumptions. Once an accident has happened, it’s hard to change the circumstances, but if you do a little footwork ahead of time, you may be in the clear if something goes wrong.

What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

Liability insurance is always required in every state and covers bodily injury and property damage in the event of an accident. If you’re in an accident and it is your fault, your liability insurance will pay for these damages to the other driver and the passengers in that car up to limits.

Let’s say your friend is driving your car and gets into an accident that is his fault, your insurance company will likely pay for much if not all the damages and his liability insurance may also be applied to pay for the remainder (if he has auto insurance). There’s also a chance that you may have to pay for some of the loss out-of-pocket, depending on how much your insurer is willing to cover and what your limits are on that policy.

Each specific case and each car insurance policy is different, so it’s important for you to speak with an agent before you allow others to drive your car. Also, keep in mind that minimum limits set on liability coverage are often inadequate protection for most accidents, especially these days with all the expensive safety features and cameras on most new cars. For only a few more dollars a month, it may be worthwhile to increase the limits on your liability coverage.

Who’s Covered by My Comprehensive and Collision Insurance?

Comprehensive and collision coverages protect your car regardless of who’s driving, unless the driver is excluded driver on the insurance policy. These coverages also extend to rental cars.


While your car insurance usually follows you as well as your car, it’s always best to speak with a trustworthy insurance agent to see if the person who’s driving your car is included on your policy. While you’re at it, why not see if you’re paying too much for car insurance by shopping multiple quotes without even making one call (visit here)?

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