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Underground Elephant Answers, Does My Auto Insurance Cover Other Drivers?

Underground Elephant discusses the scope of auto insurance coverage when it comes to other drivers in your car.

Originally published on

Whenever you drive your car, you can rest easy knowing your auto insurance policy is protecting you. But what happens if you loan your car to a friend or relative, or when other situations occur? Here is a closer look at these questions, with answers from Underground Elephant that may surprise you.

What happens when I loan my car to someone?

In most states, you must have auto liability insurance or proof of financial responsibility. Liability insurance covers you and people driving your car. Additionally, other insurance coverage like collision and comprehensive is still in force when someone is driving your vehicle. However, this person must have your permission to operate your vehicle.

What if I borrow a friend's car and he is not insured?

Just because your vehicle is fully insured does not mean you have the same coverage on other cars. Auto insurance usually follows the car, so if the car you are driving is not insured, then you might not be either. That is why you must make sure the owner has valid insurance on the vehicle before you get behind the wheel, or you (or your insurance company) may be responsible for damages.

My delivery car is broken down. What happens if one of my employees drives his vehicle to make deliveries?

This is a unique situation, and commercial auto insurance does not typically cover other vehicles. However, you can opt for ENOL insurance. This stands for employer non-owned liability. ENOL will provide liability insurance for the employee while he is driving his or her car for your business.

Can I lend my car to friends visiting from Europe?

You can let friends from other countries drive your car, as long as the driver has a valid international driver's license. He or she will be fully insured if anything happens. However, you must remember that any accidents other drivers have with your car, go against your claims records and this could raise your insurance rates.

My driver's license is suspended. Can someone else drive my car?

You need to make sure your car insurance is up to date. As long as the person has your permission and is driving legally, there should not be any problems with the insurance coverage.

A friend of mine wrecked my car, and there is a $500 deductible due for repairs. What happens if he refuses to pay the deductible?

The auto body shop may want the $500 right away, and they do not care who pays it. If you want your car fixed, you'll probably have to pay the deductible (unless the friend's auto insurance company is willing to pay). However, you may be able to take the friend to small claims court, but it could take a long time to receive a judgment.

My teenage son uses my car frequently and does not have one of his own. Do I need to list him as one of the drivers and pay higher insurance rates?

If your son lives with you and has a valid license, he will need to be on the policy. But what if he is a full-time college student living on campus? You should still consider keeping him on your policy, so he will be insured when he is home visiting. It also may cover him if he is injured as an auto accident passenger or as a pedestrian.

Eligible students can also apply for the Underground Elephant scholarship, which offers $1,000 to a student who is a safe driver and is working to make a difference in their community.

Who can I talk to for answers specific to my situation?

The answers to all of these questions may vary according to your policy, where you live, and should only be used as guidelines. "When you have auto insurance concerns, the best source to turn to is an experienced insurance agent or broker in your state," recommended Underground Elephant. This person has complete knowledge of insurance rules and regulations specific to your state of residence and can help you make the right decisions on your car insurance coverage.

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