When Car Insurance Follows the Ride: The Consequences of Letting Someone Drive Your Car

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When buying insurance, drivers often overlook secondary issues and seemingly minor aspects. For instance, figuring out whether the insurance covers any driver or only the policyholder is one of the main matters worth considering. Naturally, policyholders are often overwhelmed with all the questions regarding the policy itself and coverage details. That is why they pay no attention to other insurance-related questions like: Can someone drive my car? Or, better yet, are they insured, and does it matter if they are not? Understanding whether the outcome of a theoretical car accident will affect your financial situation, driver’s finances or both is paramount. Liability matters, and so do the costs. For that reason, it is crucial to learn what driving someone else’s car means for the coverage.

What If You Decide to Lend a Car?

Drivers have a habit of borrowing cars. It can be your friend in a tight spot or a relative paying a visit. Regardless, you need to consider possible ramifications for your coverage. Before borrowing or requesting to drive someone else’s car, it is essential not only to be covered but also to make sure you ask a series of relevant questions. For instance, you need to establish if the driver has a license and a good driving record. Besides, making sure that you know the reason or the objective of using a vehicle can come in handy, especially if the borrower plans to use it for commercial activity, like ridesharing.

When it comes to borrowing a vehicle, it comes down to the fact that you actually borrow car insurance. Since it typically follows an auto, any accidents will likely result in financial charges. In other words, a car owner’s insurance is going to cover all the damages. However, it does not always work that way. While most of the policies include a section devoted to permissive use, there is a chance that you might be held responsible for the damages of someone else’s vehicle. Naturally, this scenario can take place if you have insurance. And if the owner’s coverage is exhausted, it can be used as secondary coverage, paying for some or the rest of the damages.

Even so, it does not mean that you have to be extremely cautious and careful all the time about lending a car. In fact, you should worry about the borrower instead. In other words, you should make sure that a person borrowing it has no criminal records and is reliable, which implies the borrower being insured as well. 

Considering Permissive and Non-Permissive Use

It comes without saying that your permission is required for someone else to drive your auto. However, proving the non-permissive use is a tough nut to crack. In case there is a person or a list of people you would like to exclude as drivers of your vehicle, you can add this clause to your auto insurance. This way, you can avoid being accountable for the damage if any of the excluded drivers take your car for a ride and get into an accident. 

For those who frequently borrow their friend’s cars, there is a perfect way to protect themselves and a vehicle in a way. Non-owner insurance is a simple way to obtain liability coverage without having to own a car. It can come in handy if you cause a crash or an accident. In a nutshell, it can help you cover the costs. Since buying it is no longer a time-consuming process, you can easily shop for insurance online and use professional insurance comparison. While it might not be required in this case in particular, it is still useful to shop around and request insurance coverage quotes. 

Key Takeaways

While practicing caution and permissive use is universal advice, drivers should remember that the coverage follows a car in the first place, not the driver. And while there are car insurance policies that also cover the driver, they will not be helpful if you lend a car to an unreliable person. Careful consideration and proper courtesy is a must when it comes to borrowing or lending a vehicle. Being financially responsible for someone else’s mishap or deliberate action is not a desirable scenario for any policyholder. That is why making sure that you or your car have the right coverage can help you avoid undesirable and sometimes unpredictable risks.


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