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Do You Need Car Insurance to Drive Someone Else's Car?

By Terry, content writer

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Terry, content writer

Not all of us have a car. And the people who do not own a vehicle do not need to spend thousands of dollars on auto insurance policies. Yet, they need to drive a car. Borrowing someone's car works, but what about car insurance? Do you need auto insurance to drive someone's car?

The Answer

When someone gets a car insurance policy, the insurance policy covers the car, not the person. This means that while auto insurers must get all the details about the car owner (who will be driving the car regularly), they insure the vehicle, not the driver.

This means that you can drive someone's car every now and then, and if you get in an accident, they can claim their insurance and get reimbursed for the damages. So if you crash their car, and they have collision coverage, it can be claimed for the repairs needed.

That was the short answer to the question of this article. But a quick answer does not mean the complete solution. You need to be aware of many terms and conditions before you get in your friend's car and start driving freely.

When Auto Insurance Applies

Auto insurance will only apply to the damages to the car or the damages to the other vehicle and the passengers (with liability coverage of the owner). Let's say that you get injured in an accident. The owner's personal injury protection plan will not cover your medical expenses.

The other crucial thing to note is that borrowing a car must be occasional. If you are using someone's car regularly, it is better that you get non-owners car insurance that covers all the necessary insurance policies needed in a car accident.

Family Members or Regular Borrowers

The answer to the question "do you need car insurance to drive someone else's car" changes ultimately when you consider using the car of someone from your family or you regularly use their vehicle. Things get complicated, and if you are not prepared, it could lead to claim rejection.

Car insurance companies need the policyholder to add the "regular borrower" of their car or any family member who uses their car to their car insurance policy as a "registered driver."

If a family member gets in a car accident and they are not added as a registered driver, the car insurance company can and will reject the claim on the grounds that they regularly use your car (since they are in your family.)

Here's the explanation

Auto insurers consider every factor when they decide your auto insurance rates. It includes looking at your driving record, past insurance claims, gender, location, credit score, and other factors to assess the risk associated with the policyholder.

But when someone else drives the car regularly, the risk of a car accident increases depending on the person driving the vehicle. For example, the policyholder's teenage son or daughter can drive the car.

Statistically, teenagers are responsible for the majority of road accidents. This is why car insurance companies require you to add all the people who regularly drive your car as registered drivers.

When you add someone else to your policy, your insurance premium rates will increase based on the person's driving record and other factors. This is why adding the person to the policy is very important.

Conditions

There are some conditions that you need to keep in mind when it comes to using someone else's car and being covered in their car insurance policy. Let's take a look at those:

You Need Permission

Driving someone else's car means that you need to get the vehicle owner's permission before you drive the car. It applies to insurance policies as well.

If you get in a car accident, and it turns out that the owner of the vehicle did not give you permission to use the car, the auto insurance company will reject the claim. It means that you will have to pay either by claiming your policy or from your pocket if you do not have insurance.

This could lead to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical and repair expenses. So get the vehicle owner's permission before you drive their car.

Driving Without a License

Another instance where you will not be insured is if you drive a car without a driving license. It is illegal to drive a vehicle without a proper license, and the insurer has all the grounds to reject your claim and even drop the policy.

Not just that, but there are some serious legal ramifications you could face if you drove a car without a license. If the vehicle owner knew about it, the owner would also face legal action. So get a driver's license before you drive.

Driving Under the Influence

Driving under the influence is a crime in every state in the US. No insurance company will accept any insurance claim if you are found to be driving under the influence of alcohol or any prohibited drug.

Not just claim rejection, but you can get your driver's license suspended and face legal action. So do not drink and drive.

Things to Note

Insurance rates

If you get in a car accident while driving someone else's car, the accident will increase insurance rates for both the driver and the insurance owner. For you, the accident will be on your driving record, and for the owner of the car, the insurance claim will hike the insurance rates.

Make sure you compare before you choose by searching for the best car insurance available in your state. For example, if you live in Nevada, look for the cheapest car insurance in Nevada and select the one that suits your needs the best.

Tickets and Fines

When you are driving someone else's car, it does not mean that if you get tickets and fines for traffic violations, the vehicle owner will pay for it. The driver of the car has to pay penalties for traffic violations. It will also be reflected in your driving record.

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Do you need car insurance to drive someone else's car? Here's everything you need to know about it to avoid getting the insurance claim rejected.

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