There are times in life when we need someone to lend us our car, but we are hesitant to let them use it because we don’t know if we can or should. we wonder:
- Can my babysitter use my car to take my kids to the pool?
- Can my friend drive my car?
- Can my brother-in-law or another family member borrow my car for the weekend?
- can I drive someone else’s car?
- Will my friend’s insurance cover damage I cause while driving his vehicle?
- Is it necessary to add irregular drivers to my policy?
At bottom, we want to know, “If we give them permission and they have an accident, is it covered by my insurance? Is it legal for someone who isn’t on my insurance policy to drive my car? ?”
“It’s generally okay if they drive with their consent,” says Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president of public affairs and consumer spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute. “If it’s occasional use, let’s say I borrow your car to get milk, and as long as permission has been given verbally, it’s usually covered.”
but borrowing a car in other circumstances may not be so clear cut. It depends on your insurer and your particular policy. for example, the coverage rules and regulations may be different if the driver lives in his household and could, or should, be listed as a named insured on his policy, but is not; or, if the driver is listed on his policy as excluded. those more complicated situations should be discussed with your agent and claims representative.
Typically, even if the person driving your car has their own insurance, their insurance will be the primary payer for damage caused by your vehicle; But, the person driving your car has to be found legally guilty before their insurance will pay. driver’s insurance is secondary and may cover some personal injury or medical expenses. may also provide coverage in excess of your insurance coverage, if the cost of damage caused by your vehicle exceeds your policy limits.
“When you have someone to employ, such as a babysitter or a nurse, who will be a regular additional driver in your household, contact your insurance agent about your policy,” Salvatore recommends. “may need to be added.”
Because policy terms and state laws can vary widely, always contact your insurance agent before lending your car or other motorized vehicle, such as: a motorcycle, boat, personal watercraft, snowmobile, ATV terrain or recreational vehicle.
“Any time you have a question about your policy, call your insurance agent first,” Salvatore says. “You always want the insurance company to know the circumstances. Get their advice.”
As with anything else, use good judgment and common sense. Make sure you are fully aware of the liability you may be exposed to and your auto policy before handing over the keys. “Don’t be arrogant when lending your car,” adds Salvatore. “If you know someone isn’t a good driver, think twice before giving them your permit. Any crash you’re in could go on your insurance record.”