Does car insurance cover the car or the driver?

One of the most often asked questions among drivers is: Does car insurance cover the car or the driver? The car, not the driver, is covered under comprehensive insurance. However, there are some restrictions, such as who is allowed to drive the car. On the other hand, when driving another car, your liability insurance may cover you. In most states, this type of insurance is mandatory.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

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The Rundown

  • A car’s insurance policy protects anyone who has permission to drive it
  • If someone who isn’t on the coverage drives, that person’s insurance will pay for them
  • If an uninsured driver driving an insured car causes damage that’s more than the car policy’s limits, they may be responsible for the excess costs, and someone may sue the car owner

As a driver, you may find yourself in the position of driving someone else’s car or temporarily lending your car to someone.

Whatever the situation, there are a few things you should be aware of. Are you (and your car) safe in the event of a collision? Does car insurance cover the car or the driver?

Enter your ZIP code to compare free car insurance quotes from leading companies that offer affordable car insurance before learning more about whether car insurance covers the car or the driver.

Does car insurance go with the car or driver?

In general, car insurance is to cover the car, not the driver. So if you let a friend borrow your car and they get into an accident, your insurance will most likely pay the claim for any damages.

Many factors are involved, including the type of policy, the names on the policy, the state you live in, and whether the driver has the authorization to drive someone else’s vehicle.

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When is a car covered by car insurance?

Comprehensive and collision insurance covers a car, not a driver. The car insurance rates for these types of insurance are higher but can be worth it for peace of mind.

The insurance for a car will kick in when the driver is listed on the policy, i.e., is a close family member or member of the owner’s household. It also applies when the driver is driving the car with the permission of the owner, a situation called permissive use.

When is a driver covered by car insurance?

A driver will be covered if they are on the policy for the car in question. They also are covered when renting a car from a car rental company or ride-sharing service.

Finally, if the driver has liability insurance, they will be covered. This form of insurance is mandatory in all states except New Hampshire and follows the driver, not the car.

Making sure you’re covered is important if you’ll be driving someone else’s car or letting them use yours.

Now that you know more about if car insurance covers the car or the driver, enter your ZIP code, and you can get a free quote and buy car insurance from the top companies in your area right now.

Frequently Asked Questions: Does car insurance cover the car or the driver?

Here are the most frequently asked questions about if car insurance covers the car or driver.

#1 – Can someone drive my car if they are not on my insurance?

In most cases, you’ll be responsible if you lend your car to an uninsured driver; and your car insurance will cover any possible damages. But the choice to do so is up to you.

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