Who Can Drive My Car?
Every new car that we purchase needs to be insured to get registered. Many states require you to have minimum insurance that enables liability coverage for the car before you can even use it. The car and driver are both covered by the insurance policies, and as an owner, you are sure that you can now drive your car with insurance coverage. But what if someone wants to borrow your car to run an errand? What happens if your friend took a test drive in your new car? Or your sister took your car to her college? Will they be covered by your car insurance in case they get into an accident? Let us find answers to these questions.
When a car is purchased, the owner is free to choose the insurance coverage; different insurance policies offer different coverage. It is necessary to go through the details before deciding on the insurance policy.
Most insurance policies allow you to enlist the names of people who may use your vehicle on a regular basis. Some policies give basic coverage to the drivers who are not enlisted in the policy. Many times we inevitably lend our car to others. It could be relatives, friends, colleagues, or acquaintances. Anyone can drive the car when the owner has given oral, written or implied permission to someone to use their vehicle. They will be covered under insurance. But if someone uses the car without the owner’s permission then they would not be covered under the insurance.
The Insurance Information Institute (III) says that if a friend/acquaintance has an accident in your car, then your car’s auto insurance would help bear the expenses for the damage and/or their injuries. But if your friend/acquaintance was at fault for the accident then your insurance may give the liability coverage for the damage and/or the other driver’s injuries. But this liability coverage would not help you cover the repairs for your car or your friend’s hospital charges. Though, if you have collision coverage in your auto insurance then it would help cover the repair expenses but you are bound to pay the deductibles.
If the degree of an accident is severe, and your car’s liability coverage is not sufficient to cover the damages then the driver’s car insurance policy can be used for the additional coverage.
Be cautious, not all car insurance policies give accident coverage. Some will not even consider your spouse or parents if they are not enlisted in the policy. It is very crucial to read the policy documents and understand what is covered under insurance.
Usually, traffic tickets affect the driver but in case of accidents, the auto insurance rates may peak for the car owners if their car was at-fault. The car owners are responsible for who is driving their car. By giving anyone permission to drive their car, the owner is taking responsibility and therefore insurance companies will charge extra on the vehicle owner’s policy which is at-fault. The insurance premium would get higher due to higher risk.
So, even though you are a great driver with no tickets or accident records, if you lend your car to someone who gets involved in an accident or violation, it will affect your policy. Thus, the car owners need to be careful while handing out their car keys to anybody.
To answer, the question “Can someone drive your car if they are not on your insurance?” Yes, they can only if you give them your consent to drive the car. If they get into an accident, they will be partially or fully covered by insurance, depending on the policies, severity of the accident, damages and also the cause of the accident.