It’s a question that comes up all the time, “can someone else drive my car under my auto insurance policy?”
Maybe you have a relative coming in from out of town, or your best friend just needs to borrow your truck for a couple hours to move some furniture. Either way, lending your car to someone else is not uncommon. But, before you hand over the keys, you should understand the possible implications on your car insurance.
CAN SOMEONE ELSE DRIVE MY CAR LEGALLY?
The short answer is yes. You can let someone else drive your car and they will be covered under your car insurance policy, provided they meet a few specific conditions.
WHO’S COVERED UNDER MY CAR INSURANCE?
In order for a driver to be covered by your insurance when lending your car, they must meet all of the following criteria:
- They’re legally licensed to drive
- They’re not an excluded driver on your insurance policy
- You give them permission
However, every situation is unique and lending your car can be very risky. There are some additional things you’ll want to consider before you let someone else drive your car.
HOW OFTEN CAN SOMEONE ELSE DRIVE MY CAR?
Lending your pick-up truck to a friend for a few hours to move a couch is a lot different than letting him borrow your car to go to work once a week. If the person will be driving your car regularly, or they live in the same household, you are obligated to inform your insurance company. Withholding information about regular drivers is not a good idea. It’s called material misrepresentation. And it will result in denied claims and/or policy cancellation.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A FRIEND CRASHED MY CAR?
When you lend your car, you’re also lending your car insurance. Something that most people don’t realize is that if you let someone else drive your car and they get into an accident; it will count as a claim on your insurance. Even if the other driver has their own insurance, your policy will still be first in line to pay the claim. Car insurance coverage typically follows the car and not the driver, which means if the person driving your car makes a mistake it could be you that ends up paying for it. So, not only could you be on the hook for paying the deductible on the claim, you could also be risking your good driving record and claims history. All of this could cause your car insurance rates to increase on your next renewal.
So before you let someone else drive your car, make sure they understand the impact it could have on your car insurance. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to check with your insurance broker. They are there if you have any questions about letting someone else drive your car.
CAN SOMEONE ELSE DRIVE MY CAR IF THEY DON’T HAVE THEIR OWN CAR INSURANCE?
Yes. Coverage from your insurance applies while someone is using your vehicle. Remember, they must meet the criteria mentioned above. And keep in mind, the same policy limits and conditions will apply.
CAN I DRIVE SOMEONE ELSE’S CAR WITHOUT INSURANCE?
Yes you can. Again, as long as you have a valid license and the other person gives you permission to drive their car, you will be covered under their insurance policy. Be sure to confirm that the car is insured. If not, you could face serious consequences if caught driving without insurance. This includes license suspension and fines up to $50,000, even if it is not your vehicle.
Letting someone drive your car is not a decision you should take too lightly. Before you hand over the keys, remember that as the owner of the vehicle you have a lot to lose if something goes wrong. Have a question about your car insurance policy? Call one of our local branches.