Does my auto insurance policy cover other drivers?

Does car insurance cover other drivers? In general, any licensed driver with permission to use your car will be covered. Letting people borrow your car on a short term basis is fine, but to be safe they shouldn't borrow it long term.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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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 22, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • In general, any licensed driver with permission to use your vehicle should be covered by your insurance
  • Keep in mind that car insurance has separate categories that could affect someone not on your policy
  • Find out specific car insurance laws by contacting your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles

The question of who is covered under a standard policy has a variety of answers.

The accepted answer is that anyone who uses your vehicle with your permission should be covered, as long as they are licensed.

While this is true as a general rule, it is not always the case. Additionally, two subcategories of car insurance.

The first is focused on passengers, other drivers, and property damage, and is considered liability insurance. The second deals with your car, primarily through collision and comprehensive insurance.

How both of these subcategories are affected by someone else driving your vehicle is not necessarily easily definable.

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Are my relatives covered by my car insurance?


Can someone not on your insurance drive your car? In most cases, state law recognizes relatives with permission to drive your car as being covered under your insurance policy.

However, insurance companies have the legal right to require any relatives living in the same household to be listed on the policy in order for them to be covered.

Insurance companies also have the right to exclude some family members from coverage, especially those visiting from out of town for long periods of time. All of this should be outlined in your policy documents.

State laws are ambiguous when it comes to exclusions. Keep in mind that bodily injury coverage only applies to passengers and drivers of other cars who might be injured.

If your relative is injured, their insurance will have to cover the cost of those injuries.

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Does someone who borrows my car need his own insurance?

Does car insurance cover all drivers? According to the law, any individual driver does not need his own insurance in order to borrow someone else’s vehicle.

What happens if someone else is driving your car and gets into an accident? As previously stated, if that individual is injured in an accident, his health insurance will have to cover his injuries because your liability policy won’t.

If the individual has no health insurance, he will be required to pay out-of-pocket. If he does not have the financial resource to do so, it could end up in a lawsuit against the owner of the vehicle.

As a general rule, your insurance company will probably insist that the other driver’s insurance pay all damages resulting from an accident when your car is borrowed.

In all likelihood, both insurance companies will negotiate until an agreement is reached. If insurance companies cannot work out a deal themselves, it could end up in court.

Who should I let drive my car?


At the end of the day, the question of who is covered under your car insurance is not easily defined.

Under normal circumstances, you should be fine allowing friends and family to borrow your car on a limited basis.

But to save yourself a lot of unnecessary trouble you should try to avoid doing so on a long-term basis or with regularity.

Even in cases where an individual borrowing your car is covered, any accidents they have will come back to you in terms of higher rates in the future.

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