A common question amongst drivers is, “Does my car insurance cover my friend?” The answer to this question is important to understand when deciding whether or not to let another person drive your vehicle. To answer this question it is important to ask your local independent auto insurance agent about the specific kinds of coverage that are available and what exactly each type provides. For more on coverage following the car >
If you have liability insurance within your auto insurance policy, then your coverage follows you no matter what car you are driving. Most states require some type of liability coverage, so if your friend drives and has their own auto insurance policy, then they should be able to drive your vehicle and be covered with their own insurance policy. So if you are planning a night out on the town, counting on your friend to be your sober driver on the way home, you should make you understand what kind of coverage they have. Doing this protects you from any problems that could arise in the even that an accident occurs while your friend is driving your vehicle.
Now one important side note is that comprehensive and collision coverage specifically apply to the one specific vehicle, not the driver. This kind of coverage provides coverage for damage that may occur to a car as a result of an accident or vandalism. Comprehensive and collision coverage is more expensive and will add additional expenses to the policy that are recommended by not required.
If you own a truck and know that friends and family may want to borrow it to haul that brand new couch, or that ton of bricks for their landscaping project, then you should ask your local independent auto insurance agent about a policy that will protect your vehicle when being driven by someone else. If you have complete coverage, many insurance carriers will cover the driver, but only at the minimum coverage limits. In contrast, some insurance companies will not cover the driver unless they are named in the policy.
If the friend you are lending your vehicle lives with you and they regularly drive your vehicle, then the insurance company will expect that you name the person on your policy, meaning they will have to go through the same qualification processes as any other policy holder.
Commercial auto policies demand expressed consent. Certain private policies have sub-limits for undisclosed drivers. There are no simple answers that cover all cases.
The short answer of whether or not your car insurance covers your friend is yes, in many cases. But it is important to understand what kind of coverage the friend may have that can help protect them in the event of an accident behind the wheel of your vehicle. If the friend is driving it occasionally, then it is probably OK, but if they drive it regularly then you should talk to your local independent insurance agent about authorizing the person to drive your car by adding them to the policy.
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