Can you drive a van under your car insurance?

You can borrow and drive a van under your car insurance for personal reasons but not for commercial use. If you borrow and drive a van on your personal car insurance, only your liability coverage will extend to the van. If you are driving a commercial van, be sure you have the proper commercial van insurance coverage.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 29, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • If you have an auto liability policy, you are covered for damage that you cause to another car or driver in an accident
  • If you are driving another vehicle, then your comprehensive or collision coverage would not cover any damage to that vehicle if it is not listed on your policy
  • When you drive another car with the permission of the vehicle’s owner, this is called permissive use of a vehicle and is likely covered under their insurance policy
  • Make sure that if you are driving a car for commercial reasons, then be sure that you have the proper insurance through a business to cover any incidents

If you have an auto liability policy, then you are covered for any damage that you cause to another person’s vehicle or to another person up to a certain limit.

When you borrow someone else’s car, you have their permission to use it and would be covered under permissive use by their insurance coverage.

The full coverage, which refers to collision or comprehensive coverage, that you have on your own vehicles through your auto insurance policy does not extend to other vehicles that are not specifically listed on your policy.

If you are looking for the best auto insurance rates, start comparison shopping by entering your zip code above!

Driving a Van for Personal Reasons

If you are driving a van for personal reasons, you are less likely to have an issue with insurance coverage than if you are driving a commercial van for a business purpose.

Auto insurance providers want you to have a separate policy if you are going to use a car for business purposes on a regular basis.

You want to be careful about this because if you have a claim while using it for business reasons, you may be denied coverage.

When you borrow a van from a friend to drive, that friend probably has his or her own auto insurance policy.

If he or she has collision or comprehensive coverage, the van would be protected in the event that you cause any damage to it.

If you are in an accident or hit something while driving the van, the collision coverage that the owner of the van carries will kick in to cover the necessary repairs to the car.

For comprehensive and collision insurance, these coverages extend to the vehicle that is listed on the policy, and the coverage does not change depending on who is driving the car.

As long as the person driving the car has the permission of the insurance policyholder, then the comprehensive or collision coverage will extend.

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Why Your Auto Liability Policy is Important No Matter Which Car You Drive

An auto liability policy is required for almost all U.S. drivers.

Auto liability is the most basic type of auto insurance coverage and is used to protect your personal assets from being subject to a judgment if you are the cause of an auto accident.

This coverage works to take care of any damages that you are responsible for causing to another person or car.

Keep in mind that this does not include any damage to your own car. You would need some supplemental auto insurance coverage to be protected for that.

The most important thing to keep in mind about your liability insurances is that it might not be enough to have just the minimum amount of coverage that you are required to carry.

In fact, you may want to raise your policy limits much higher than that. The minimum required coverage is not likely to be enough in most auto accidents to take care of the damage you cause.

Once you reach your policy limits, you will be faced with making up the difference on your own.

The other driver may even sue you in court to be able to recover all of their damages in the accident.

Even though raising your policy limits might mean paying a higher premium, you still have plenty of options when it comes to getting auto insurance.

When you are looking into different quotes, you should also consider whether you want other types of coverage in addition to an auto liability policy.

With additional types of coverage, you would be protected even if the damage to your car was your fault.

Final Words on Driving a Van Under Your Current Car Insurance

If you are driving someone else’s van for a non-business purpose, then you will generally be protected through your own auto liability policy.

Being protected by your own policy is especially true if you are just borrowing the van temporarily and do not plan to drive it all that often.

If the actual owner of the van has a comprehensive or collision policy for the van, then the coverage under those policies would cover the vehicle regardless of who is driving it.

There is probably no need for you to change anything with your own auto insurance policy if you only plan to drive the van for a short distance and are not doing it for a commercial purpose.

Start comparison shopping today for the best auto policies. Enter your zip code below to get started!

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