Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

Car insurance can be confusing.

You may not understand you’ve legally required minimum coverage, what your current coverage entails, or the additional coverage you need.

However, you can potentially lower your auto insurance rates by using an online price comparison tool. To use our own comparison tool, simply enter your zip code above!

Understanding Your Auto Insurance Policy


In order to understand how your auto insurance applies when the driver is not insured, you must have a basic understanding of the ins and outs of a standard auto insurance policy.

An auto insurance policy is like several policies all rolled into one. Each piece of your policy covers different circumstances.

– Liability

If you cause damages to another person’s property, such as their vehicle, home, or even a fence, it will fall under your property damage liability coverage.

If you cause an accident and other parties are required to seek medical care or even incur funeral expenses, this will fall under your bodily injury liability coverage.

Drivers should be aware that liability only covers damages they cause to other people. It does not cover damages to their own vehicle or their own medical expenses.

– Medical Payments or Personal Injury Protection

Required in some states, medical payments — also known as PIP — helps pay for bodily injuries. It is in place to cover medical expenses and funeral expenses if need be.

In some cases, med pay will also cover lost wages and even pay for hired help around the house, such as housekeeping or childcare.

This coverage applies to you, no matter who caused the accident. It does not apply to other parties since bodily injury liability and their own PIP coverage would cover their injuries.

– Collision

Collision covers your vehicle when you have an accident with another vehicle or object and only covers you.

With collision, you select your coverage amounts and deductible. Keep in mind that the higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be.

This coverage type is not legally required; however, if you finance or lease your vehicle, you are probably required to have it.


Comprehensive is similar to collision coverage in that it is not legally required but is usually required if you have a leased or financed car.

You will also choose a deductible and coverage amounts with comprehensive. Comprehensive coverage applies to other causes of loss outside of an accident.

For instance, hitting wildlife, theft, vandalism, flooding, fires, and other natural disasters would be covered under your comprehensive policy.


If your car is leased or financed, you should consider GAP coverage. In fact, if you lease your car, you may already have GAP coverage or be legally required to obtain it.

In the event that something happens to your car and your insurance company deems it a complete loss, they will cut you a check for what they believe is the fair market value for your vehicle.

Although it may seem fair, in many cases, it does not cover what is still left to pay off the loan or the lease.

GAP insurance pays the difference between what your insurance company gives you and what is still owed on your loan or lease.

–Roadside Assistance

We all need help on the road from time to time, whether it’s a pesky flat tire, a bad estimate of how much gas we had left, or an unexpected mechanical failure.

With this coverage, you can call for help when you have one of these problems or something similar.

–Rental Car Coverage

If your car is in the repair shop or you found out that you will need to shop for a new vehicle after an accident, you may be left in the lurch when it comes to transportation.

Rental car coverage provides you with a rental car for a certain time period up to a certain dollar amount per day.

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Can you drive your mom’s car with no insurance?

Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to this question.

In every state, except New Hampshire, drivers are required to obtain auto insurance on their vehicle. In some instances, insurance follows the driver.

The specifics of what types of insurance coverage apply to the vehicle or the driver can be up to each individual insurance policy and auto insurance carrier.

Drivers and automobile owners should always check the laws in their state, as well as their policy declarations to learn more about their insurance coverage and how it applies to various circumstances.

Here is how parts of an insurance policy cover situations such as driving another person’s vehicle.


No matter who a vehicle belongs to, liability coverage always follows the driver.

If you have liability coverage on your own vehicle and drive someone else’s vehicle, this coverage will apply if you get into an accident.

There is no standard auto insurance policy or rules in today’s market.

–Collision and Comprehensive

If you have elected to have collision and comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, these policies will follow your car and not the driver.

If your mom’s car does not have comprehensive or collision coverage, someone will potentially be left holding the bill if there are damages due to an accident, vandalism, or theft.

If you are the one without insurance coverage but your mom has an auto policy, you could be liable for the damages of other parties if you cause an accident.

As a general rule, it is always best to be sure you are an insured driver and the car you are driving, even if it is not yours, has appropriate insurance coverage.

–Med Pay/Personal Injury Protection

Similar to liability, med pay, also known as personal injury protection, usually follows the person.

If you drive another person’s vehicle and you or your passengers are injured, your own PIP should apply no matter who is at fault for the accident.

In fact, in many cases, this coverage will follow you if you are injured while walking or biking.

Factors Used to Determine Coverage

There are factors insurance companies might use to determine if they will pay on a claim involving a driver using a vehicle that is not theirs.

These factors include:

  • The circumstances of the vehicle use
  • Negligence of the driver using the vehicle
  • If the car was a dealership loaner or a rental car

Alternative Auto Policies


One way that auto insurance companies are able to underwrite these sub-standard policies is to have numerous exclusions that are not generally found in your standard auto insurance policy.

These exclusions can leave drivers who may already be at a financial disadvantage in the lurch if they are in an accident or loan their vehicle to someone who does get into an accident.

While some of this information can be a bit daunting, getting the lowest rates for car insurance doesn’t have to be.

Remember to use an online price comparison tool to ensure you are paying the best available rates. Enter your zip code below to compare rates now! It’s quick, easy, and FREE!