Are you covered by a family member’s insurance when driving their car?

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Asked June 8, 2010

1 Answer

That depends on several factors. If you are not sure, the safest route is to presume the answer is no. Even if you believe that you may be covered, contact the insurance company and find for certain. After an accident happens it will be too late to take precautions to protect yourself and other people and property involved.

Many insurance companies will cover a person who has an accident in your car if they are only using for a specific, short-term purpose. For example, your cousin who is moving in across the road from you will probably be covered if they borrow your truck on moving day. There are exceptions to this, so check with the insurance company. Some insurance companies will allow a name to be temporarily added to the policy as well, so that you could borrow a relative's van for taking your family out of state, or some other use.

Some policies, though, are written for a particular "named driver." This type of coverage absolves the insurance company from claims made by or against anyone driving the car that is not specifically listed on the car insurance policy. This coverage is often less expensive than regular car insurance, but has the potential to be excruciatingly expensive for you if something goes wrong.

Another thing to be careful is the assumed use of family members. If a person living in your household has an accident while driving your car, but they are not listed on your insurance, the company may refuse the claim on the grounds that you were simply avoiding carrying sufficient insurance for the vehicle. Because of this, it is important that anyone who lives in your home and subject to drive your car at any time is listed on the policy. Occasional use clauses do not generally apply in this particular case.

Answered June 8, 2010 by Anonymous

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