Auto Insurance Coverage for Borrowed Vehicles

Do you ever borrow a friend's car or let someone borrow yours? In either case, you could be liable to pay for any damages or expenses caused by an accident. Understand how auto insurance works for borrowed cars before you borrow or lend a vehicle.

Insurance is Specific to the Vehicle

When you purchase auto insurance for a vehicle, the coverage stays with that vehicle. Borrow a car, and you also borrow that car's auto insurance. Likewise, lend your car to someone, and that person borrows your vehicle's insurance.

Your Auto Policy Covers You and Immediate Family Members

Typically, auto insurance covers the primary insured, which is usually you, and members of your immediate family who drive the car. It doesn't cover anyone who doesn't have your permission to operate the vehicle. So if your child gives a friend permission to drive your car but doesn't ask you first, that person isn't technically covered by your auto insurance policy.

Before you Borrow a Vehicle

Even if you're an excellent driver, accidents can happen. Be sure the vehicle you borrow has current insurance with adequate coverage. Also, understand that your policy could be tapped as secondary coverage after an accident, meaning you could be responsible for expensive vehicle repairs, large medical bills or costly fines that result from an auto accident in a borrowed vehicle.

Before you Allow Someone to Borrow Your Vehicle

Give someone permission to borrow you vehicle, and you also give them your insurance coverage. Never allow an unlicensed, inexperienced or unsafe driver to operate your car. If they're in an accident, you could face criminal charges, lose your auto insurance or be left with expensive bills.

Borrowing or lending a vehicle isn't as easy as handing over the keys. Check your policy and talk to your auto insurance agent for specific details about your coverage and responsibility. With the facts, you can borrow or lend a car with confidence. 

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