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 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? 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. It is crucial to learn what driving someone else’s car means for the coverage.
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 to be covered and 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 that you 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 will 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 cautious all the time about lending a car. 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.
It comes without saying your permission is required for someone else to drive your vehicle, proving the non-permissive use is a tough nut to crack. If you want to exclude people from your vehicle, you can add this to your auto insurance policy. This way, you can avoid being accountable for the damage if any 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 owning 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 time-consuming, you can easily shop for insurance online and use professional insurance comparisons. While it might not be required in this case in particular, it is still helpful to shop around and request insurance coverage quotes.
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 are a must for 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.
Victoria is a Content Writer at American REIA, covering the latest industry news and various insurance topics, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.