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Whose auto insurance will cover you if driving another person's car?

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Borrowed Vehicles for the UK

In the UK - the general rule is that the driver's own vehicle insurance will pay for any accidents other than when the driver is driving a car with permission and is named on the car owner's policy. If the driver has no insurance the driver has a personal liability to pay for injuries and damage to third parties. Either the car owner's insurance can be used to meet a compensation claim or the Motor Insurers Bureau will step in to pay compensation if no car insurance is available from either the driver or the owner. See the related link entitled "accident car insurance" - for an explanation of all forms of car insurance in the UK and the function of the MIB.

Insurance Coverage in Someone Else's vehicle - USA

In The USA this will vary state by state according to local regulation as well as the type of Auto Insurance Policy in place at the time. It's always best to get coverage advice from your Insurance Agent.

As a general rule across the 50 states, if the owner of the "personal use" vehicle being driven has adequate coverage then that policy is treated as primary and any coverage the driver has is secondary or excess in the event damages exceed the limits of the vehicle owner's insurance policy or in the event of no coverage for the operator under the owners policy.

If coverage is afforded under the vehicle owners policy then it will act as primary coverage. If not, then the drivers own auto liability insurance (if any) will step up from secondary and invoke as first party coverage. Depending on the policy language and coverage selected options, liability, uninsured motorist, pip and medical portions will all invoke and provide you coverage.

Additional Considerations or possible coverage Gaps (Please add more here if you can think of some)

  • Your Personal auto Policy will "Not" follow you for operation of a hired business or commercial use vehicle unless you have elected business use coverage as well.
  • If the vehicle owner has purchased a limited form type or a "named driver" policy. though economic for those on a budget, no coverage at all may be afforded to occasional or permitted drivers.
  • The degree of coverage beyond the above that may invoke are dependent on various factors such as the reason for driving the other vehicle, loaners, rentals or replacement status vehicles and other local or state regulations.


It's always best to talk with your agent and make sure you undertsand your coverage before loaning or borrowing a vehicle.

Happy Motoring Insurance Coverage in anothers vehicle

I am an auto insurance adjuster and the quickest answer to your question is - "it depends on the Owner of the vehicle's policy language". Most auto insurance policies WILL in fact cover ANY driver of the insured vehicle, UNLESS that driver has been previously excluded from the policy or UNLESS the driver has STOLEN the vehicle. This would have to be proved with a copy of a theft report filed by the owner. Now, most of the time this is the case - but NOT in all states, and NOT on all policies. I urge you to call your agent BEFORE you drive a friend's car or BEFORE you let a friend drive yours.

Here are more answers and opinions from other FAQ Farmers:

  • The insurance will only cover you if you are listed under their insurance with the car owner.
  • I had to find this out in a hard way. They will, if the car owner has given you permission to drive. But if not, they won't and I fell into the second case.
  • A good rule of thumb is that 'insurance follows the owners liabilities as far as coverage is concerned. The policy in force on the vehicle involved in a loss will cover the damage to the vehicle itself and provide the liability limits if other parties are involved and are covered under the terms of that policy. This does assume that you had the owner's PERMISSION to drive the vehicle involved.
  • A lot also depends on the state. I'm in Texas - my policy specifically states that anybody that I allow to drive my vehicle is covered. At the same time, my policy will cover me in somebody else's vehicle (with the same coverages that I carry), and also cover any new car for 30 days, to allow time for me to give them the car information. They tend to be a lot more liberal than most companies though. And I don't carry collision anyway (my car is 15-years-old with 165k miles, not worth it), just theft, uninsured motorist and liability.
  • I think this question could vary state to state. However, in WA, the insurance on the vehicle is primary, and if the drivers has insurance on another vehicle, or a broad form policy, theirs is secondary. Hope that helps, just my 2 cents.
  • The vehicle's insurance is primary. If liability insurance on the vehicle is inadequate your own policy will come in as secondary and protect "YOU".
  • The driver's insurance applies. Think of this: how can you lower your insurance premium: you, the driver are experienced, good driver (no accident, etc.) As soon as I add my daughter to my policy, it changes to inexperienced driver and not good driver category! SAME car....!
  • The insurance follows the Named Insureds Liabilities. That is the general rule. However, in some states, there is case law that will hold the owner's and driver's insurers coprimary for liability coverage IN SITUATION WHERE THE DRIVER IS USING THE OWNER'S CAR AS A TEMPORARY SUBSTITUTE VEHICLE. Generally though, the driver's policy is excess or secondary.


A car is insured under comprehensive and collision insurance. The Named Insured Drivers are covered for Liability purposes. For the car to be insured in the case of an accident there are stipulations placed on who can drive the car relating to driver age, experience, driving record etc. this may vary from policy to policy. It all depends, Specifically As with most questions like this, it depends. Specifically:

1. Auto insurance follows the named Insured Liabilities. So, if you're driving your friend's car and rear-end somebody, your friend's liability insurance may take care of the other vehicle's damages.

2. But what if your friend doesn't carry insurance? Most likely your insurance will step in, but if Ohio requires vehicle owners to carry liability insurance, your carrier will most likely go after your friend for the money they paid to protect you because, by law, your friend should have paid for his own coverage.

3. Does the car belong to a relative? More specifically, a relative in your household? This would likely result in your carrier denying coverage for you because you didn't tell them a relative owns a car that you're driving. How often you drive the car could also affect your carrier's decision.

4. But what if you have full coverage, and you wreck your friend's car that doesn't have full coverage, and you don't normally drive the car? Most likely, your carrier will step in and pay for the damages to your friend's car. Your carrier is "excess," but if no other first-party coverage exists, they'll usually take care of it. See #3, though, because this wouldn't apply to a relatives vehicle. insurance on the vehicle The kind of Insurance you are speaking of is a Named non-owners policy. If you are driving someones car that you borrow it needs to have insurance too. It is illegal to drive a car without insurance (for that car) The driver and owner could get a ticket for the vehicle not being insured. Insurance Coverage In my experience as an auto insurance adjuster, the car carries the insurance. It would tie up the courts if settlements were partially on the vehicle and partially on insurance carried by the driver. If your car is involved in an accident while being driven a person who does not have your permission (as the Named Policy Holder) it is possible that your insurance company, after an in-depth investigation, including sworn statements by you, may try to subrogate against the unauthorized driver's insurance.

There is an excess clause in nearly every auto policy. One particular Auto Insurance carrier is famous for trying to deny coverage based on this excess clause. But, as far as I know EVERY company's policy language includes this excess clause.
In MOST cases, where only PD or MD (property damage or material damage) are involved, companies will agree to pro rata shares of coverage.
The above-mentioned carrier tends to dig their heels in the sand, however, and prolongs the handling of such claims, which nearly ALWAYS translates to a costlier claim process. most generally yes, your exact coverage will transfer over (if that vehicle is uninsured and there are MANY ''if's'' in this ) to this uninsured vehicle, if it meets the criteria of 'non-owned auto' 'temporary replacement vehicle' etc......but NOT on a continueing bases...you can't just insure one vehicle and drive a non insured one indefinately...understand? In the state of AZ, the insurance follows the car. Your own coverage may extend to a vehicle that you are using with permission but only as secondary coverage. 1 Until this answer is improved by an expert, this layman's answer will have to suffice.
IF the driver is not named on the vehicle's insurance, the terms of the insurance policy will dictate the handling of a liability claim for the accident in which the vehicle was involved.
Normally, if the driver is:
1. Legally licensed to drive, and
2. Has the permission of the owner of the vehicle to have been driving it at the time of the collision, then most policies will cover the "Permissive User."

If the vehicle you borrowed does not carry insurance and you do, your insurance becomes secondary to cover the claim. The owner's insurance is primary. 1 Generally, throughout the insurance industry, if there is insurance on the vehicle involved in the collision, then that insurance is considered "primary,' and is the policy which will provide first coverage if coverage is extended to that driver.

Then, IF the primary coverage is not adequate [not enough money], the driver's insurance [considered secondary] will kick in for the balance owed on the liability claim, until its limit is reached.

typically the insurance on the car is primary.....if that policy has collision coverage (am assuming there is liability coverage as that is required).....the vehicle policy will repair that vehicle....if that vehicle does NOT have collision coverage and driver has a policy with collision coverage then drivers policy will step in (2nd)......if neither policy has collision coverage and the driver of your vehicle is at fault..........no company is repairing that vehicle..... and yes as mentioned which ever policy pays for the 'at fault' accident those rates are increasing......could be that both pay....yours for the other parties damage under liablity portion (if your vehicle is at fault) and drivers collision coverage (if your vehicle has no coll.cov)

That is determined by the coverage clauses in both parties policy. The person whose insurance company pays will be the one whose rates increase. You usually are covered by the insurance for the car...if your friend drove your car and you had insurance on your car, they would be covered on your insurance, not their own Generally not. While you're an insured driver, it's your the policy covers only your liability. with permission from the owner, as long as there is no exclusion, and you are not a 'regular' driver, if you are using the vehicle with any regularity, you would need to be listed as an insured driver.

No. The person who owns the car and has it insured will be responsible through their insurance. However, they can take you to small claims court for the amount they had to pay and will win the case.
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