Does Auto Insurance Follow Car or Driver?

Your marital status can impact what you pay for auto insurance. Car insurance companies consider married drivers to be more financially stable and more risk-averse than unmarried drivers. Both of these factors signal less risk to the insurance company, which translates to lower premiums for the driver.
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Does Auto Insurance Follow Car or Driver?

Written by Brian Greenberg
CEO / Founder & Licensed Insurance Agent

Last updated: November 24th, 2022

Reviewed by Paige Geisler
Licensed Insurance Agent

Do Auto Insurance Policies Follow the Car or Driver?

Generally, auto insurance policies follow the car. However, there are exceptions to this rule. It can be confusing because of technicalities. Technically, auto insurance covers your car and you as the vehicle’s driver. But unless specific supplemental options are added, the policy follows the vehicle.

When Does An Auto Policy Follow the Car?

When you purchase a general auto insurance policy, the protection is for the vehicle. With a full coverage policy, you’re covered for property damages to your car and that of another party in the event of an accident. The policy would also cover you as the driver of the vehicle, so your medical bills (and, in some cases, legal fees) surrounding an accident would be covered, as would those of the other vehicle’s driver.

When Does An Auto Policy Follow the Driver?

If you have certain types of supplement coverage on your insurance policy, it may also follow you as the driver. For example, some insurance providers allow you to purchase rental car coverage. This coverage would follow you, the driver, instead of your primary vehicle.

Can Other People Drive My Car If it is Insured?

Yes, under most insurance policies. The policy will cover any listed drivers and people you permit to use your vehicle. So, if someone were driving your car and got into an accident, they and any damage would be covered under your policy. However, there are exceptions.

For starters, it’s possible your car insurance company or individual policy has banned drivers. For example, if someone was in a car accident in your vehicle but wasn’t on your policy, the insurance company can potentially exclude them from coverage. This doesn’t always happen, but it is possible.

Additionally, every policy is different. If you want to loan someone your vehicle but aren’t sure if they’d be covered, the best thing to do is contact your provider. A customer service representative can help you determine whether your specific policy covers unlisted drivers.

What Happens If Someone is Involved in an Accident While Driving My Vehicle?

Usually, your insurance policy will cover someone involved in an accident while driving your car. If the other party is found to be at fault, you or the unlisted driver can file a claim against the other party’s policy. The claim should cover damage to your vehicle and the medical bills of the person driving.

If your car’s driver is found to be at fault, the other party can file a claim against your insurance. Because the claim will be filed against your policy, your insurance rates may go up when it comes time to renew. Additionally, your insurance company can ban the at-fault driver from your policy. Once this happens, the driver has zero coverage if they borrow your vehicle again in the future.

Can I Drive Someone Else’s Car if I’m Insured?

Yes, you can drive someone else’s car, but it doesn’t matter if you’re insured or not. You’ll need to ensure the person lending you their vehicle has an active insurance policy, as insurance follows the car and not the driver. Unless you have non-owner car insurance, you wouldn’t be covered in an accident if the other driver is uninsured.

What Happens if I’m Involved in an Accident While Driving Another Person’s Car?

If you’re involved in an accident while driving someone else’s car, you should be covered as long as you’re not excluded from their policy. If you’re at fault in the accident, the other driver can file a claim against the vehicle owner’s policy. If the other party is at fault, you and the vehicle’s owner can file a claim against the other party’s insurance policy. Either way, a claim can be filed for medical bills or property damage incurred during the accident.

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