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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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Car insurance is designed to provide protection to your car if it is involved in an accident or if it causes property damage. Car insurance normally does not follow the policyholder or listed drivers when they are driving a different car.
In most situations, the car’s primary insurance will provide coverage while you drive. There may be exceptions where your insurance provider is willing to extend coverage. They key is to ask your provider to ensure you have the right coverage.
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What cars will your insurance cover?
Your car insurance is often referred to as a personal auto policy. It is designed to protect your personal vehicle. Also, your policy will not provide protection when you drive another car because car insurance follows the vehicle, not the individual. If you are driving a car you do not own, the car’s primary auto insurance normally provides coverage.
While it is commonly believed that your insurance will cover you whenever you’re driving, this is not always the case.
If you borrow a car you don’t own, it’s important to make sure there’s primary auto insurance active for that car. Additionally, if you have questions about your liability, your insurance provider can discuss your coverage with you.
When does your policy provide coverage to a non-owned car?
Your car insurance may provider coverage in specific situations, such as when you rent a car, are involved in an accident, or have non-owner insurance coverage.
Your policy may protect you when you operate a rented car by extending coverage since you do not have access to your daily use vehicle. Your policy coverage will not provide coverage that are above your policy limits. You need to discuss your options ahead of time with your provider before you rent a car.
In addition, some insurance providers offer a non-owner car insurance, which is different than your traditional auto policy. This coverage provides liability coverage without providing physical damage protection. This type of coverage often provides liability protection if you are borrowing a non-owned car or renting a car.
Your provider may be willing to extend your coverage if you are driving a non-owned car and you are in an accident, but it is not a guarantee, however, and there may be exceptions when the coverage is provided.
In a situation where the car’s primary coverage limits have been surpassed, your provider may extend your coverage as supplemental coverage.
If there are questions about what your policy may cover, your insurance provider can go into further detail. It’s important to discuss the coverage options available with any potential provider before you purchase coverage since some providers offer options that others do not.
What should you do before driving a non-owned car?
If you are going to drive a car you don’t know, the first thing you should do is find out what kind of insurance coverage is active on the vehicle.
For instance, if you’re borrowing a friend’s car, it’s important to confirm they have an active policy, as well as confirming you have permission to drive the car. Also, get the contact information for that provider, in the case of an accident or emergency.
Additionally, you should always contact your insurance provider to discuss what coverage, if any, will extend to you in this non-owned vehicle. This is important because, in the event of an accident, you will want to know what coverage you have from your primary provider.
The Basics of Auto Insurance Coverage
Car insurance normally provides protection to the car on your insurance policy, which means your policy does not always provide coverage when you drive a non-owned car. There may be exceptions to this, but every insurance provider differs on what coverage options they provide.
If you have questions about your coverage and what it covers, contact your insurance provider or review your declaration page. They can go into more detail on what your policy allows, as well as any state specific stipulations that could prohibit your coverage from extending to a non-owned car.
You may also contact your state’s Department of Insurance for more information or if you have state-specific questions about how your policy works.
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