Does Car Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?

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Car insurance usually follows the car, as long as the owner grants the driver permission to drive—but there are exceptions. In some cases, liability insurance might follow the driver.
It’s not uncommon for people to lend out their cars—but if you do, it’s important to understand how car insurance works in these situations. If you drive someone else’s car (or let someone drive yours), your car insurance may or may not apply. It depends on whether you gave permission, the circumstances, and your coverage details.
To help make your life a little easier, car insurance comparison shopping app Jerry has gathered everything you need to know about whether a car insurance follows the car or the driver.
And if you’re in the market for cheap car insurance, Jerry can help you with that, too. Jerry generates competitive quotes from top providers (in less than a minute!) and gathers your information from your past insurer, so you’re not responsible for any long forms or phone calls.
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Does car insurance follow the car or the driver?

Whether your car insurance coverage will follow the car or the driver will depend on your coverage details and the type of policy you have.
There are also a number of other factors that insurance companies rely on when deciding if your coverage will follow you or your car:
  • The state where you live
  • The names listed on the policy
  • Whether you gave permission to drive the vehicle

Does my insurance cover people who drive my car?

In most cases, yes—as long as they are listed on your policy. But there are also some situations where drivers who aren’t listed on your policy will be covered when driving your car.

Drivers listed on the policy

Your insurance provider will typically give you the option of listing people who are likely to drive your car on your policy.
Most insurance providers include immediate family members, spouses, or other members of your household on your insurance policy. You can also choose to list friends, family, or anybody else who is likely to use your car.
Be mindful of who you list on your policy. If a listed driver is of a high-risk demographic category, has bad credit, or points against their license, you could end up paying more for your insurance because of it.

Drivers not listed on the policy

There are also some situations where drivers who aren’t listed on your policy might be automatically included—it all depends on your specific coverage details.
Some policies will cover extended family members visiting you or staying in your home. You could also be covered if you share driving responsibilities during a long drive or if an acquaintance borrows your car while theirs is being repaired.
If extended family members or friends who aren’t listed on your policy drive your car, they are typically covered as long as they have your permission. You can give permission either by handing them the keys or verbally permitting them to use your vehicle.

Excluded drivers

Excluded drivers are not usually covered by your insurance policy.
In most cases, the insurance company will deny coverage for excluded drivers and the expenses resulting from an accident will fall on the driver. That said, there are some states where excluded drivers have access to a certain amount of minimum insurance coverage.
If you have questions about your coverage, Jerry’s friendly agents are here to give you advice on the best coverage options. As your life changes, your insurance changes—and Jerry is ready to make those adjustments for you.
Key Takeaway Your insurance will typically cover people who have permission to drive your vehicle, even if they aren’t listed on your policy—but watch out for excluded drivers.

Will my car insurance cover me when I drive another vehicle?

Even if you aren’t covered by the owner’s insurance, you should still be covered by your own liability car insurance when driving someone else’s car.
Note that full-coverage options like comprehensive insurance and collision coverage may not apply. It will all depend on the details of your coverage and your policy limits.

Car sharing tips

Car sharing can be a great way to cut costs, but you’ll want to take some precautions to ensure you always have car insurance coverage when you need it.
The best way to ensure that all parties are always covered when driving the same car is to list any non-owners who are likely to drive your car on your insurance policy and vice-versa. Anybody not listed on a policy should always get explicit permission to drive before they get behind the wheel.
If you plan to rent the car out for cash or use it for commercial purposes, supplemental insurance can help cover you where your existing plan falls short.
For example, rideshare drivers can add supplementary rideshare insurance to their policy to make sure that they don’t have to deal with annoying coverage gaps while on the job.
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Finding the right car insurance coverage for your needs

Whether car insurance follows the car or the driver is not always cut and dry, so it’s important to have the right car insurance coverage to meet your needs.
If you’re hesitant to switch plans or insurance providers because you’re worried about the work involved, don’t be! Jerry does all the paperwork for you. You’ll never have to print anything, go to the post office, or get on the phone. Jerry handles it all—really!
Jerry customers save an average of $879 a year. Oh, and we should mention… Jerry is free.
“The folks at Jerry are amazing. They streamline the process of getting auto insurance so well. Having never bought insurance before, Jerry made everything a breeze. I just put in how much coverage I needed, and Jerry handled finding the cheapest policy, signing me up for it, and removing me from my parent’s policy. Their friendly representatives even helped answer my questions about my coverage. I can’t recommend this app enough! Thanks Jerry!” — Satisfied Jerry customer

Frequently asked questions

Will my insurance cover car sharing?

Most car insurance policies won’t extend to someone else who is paying to drive your car. If you rent your car out on a car-sharing service, you’ll usually need to take out additional car-sharing specific policies to ensure that you’re protected.

What if I use my car for commercial purposes?

Standard car insurance policies don’t cover drivers when they are using their car for commercial purposes. If you use your car for business, you may need to purchase commercial or rideshare insurance coverage.
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