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Who is covered under my car insurance policy?

Auto insurance is a critical piece of financial protection in a car accident but can anybody drive your car? Does your auto insurance policy extend to drivers not listed on the car insurance policy? There will always be a time when you loan your keys to someone else. This could be a family friend, a neighbor or co-worker so it’s important to know how car insurance works and who is covered under your car insurance policy.

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Each auto insurance policy is unique and when it comes to letting other people drive your car you should never automatically assume they are covered. Some car insurance companies require you list all the drivers and anyone operating the vehicle outside of this list will not have coverage. Others extend coverage to family members living in the same household as long they are not the primary driver while others only insure you. The details behind who is covered under your policy is a question that must be asked well before committing to purchasing auto insurance.

How do I find out who is covered under my car insurance policy?

For most drivers your auto insurance policy will detail the names of additional insured drivers however there are often many times when somebody not on the list will operate the vehicle. Before this situation happens its important to understand how car insurance works for unnamed drivers. You need to speak with a licensed auto insurance agent and have them explain to you how additional drivers are insured. All of this must end up in the details of your policy so it’s imperative you not just understand how coverage extends to other drivers but where you see these terms in your auto insurance policy.

Are other drivers insured for the same amount of coverage?

This is where auto insurance gets interesting and you learn never to assume anything. While many car insurance companies extend coverage to other drivers operating the vehicle with your permission they do not automatically extend the same levels of coverage. Some auto insurance companies only extend the state minimum requirements to anybody driving the vehicle besides you which is a big cause for concern. All that collision, comprehensive and other supplemental insurance included in your premiums will not be passed on to your friend running to the store for a carton of milk. Additionally the $100,000 in liability coverage may be reduced to as low as $10,000 depending on where you live. If your friend gets in a car accident you might find yourself with no insurance coverage and having to write a check for your own repairs.

Can I add anyone to my car insurance policy?

For the most part you can name anyone as an additional driver on your car policy however their individual risk profile may certainly affect your rates. If you are a good driver and request a high risk driver added then your risk profile just went up and so will your premiums. For additional drivers classified as very high risk car insurance companies may even deny your request to add them. At this point you should also ask yourself why you want them driving your car anyway.

What are the most important questions to ask my car insurance company?

While we can talk in general terms about adding a driver to your car insurance policy only a licensed car insurance company familiar with your profile, state laws and policy details can answer this question direct. Never let anybody take your car for a spin unless you understand how your car insurance policy covers them. Try to ask at least the following questions from your licensed auto insurance agent:

  • Who is insured as a driver under your policy?
  • Do the drivers have to be named in your policy to have coverage?
  • How much coverage will they have? Are the limits and types of coverage the same as yours?
  • What about friends and families who simply want to take the car for a spin?

Allowing people to use your vehicle is a sure sign of trust however you don’t want to be left with a large liability bill in the event of an accident. Contact auto insurance companies today and learn how car insurance works for other people driving your car.

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