Can You Drive Someone Else's Car Without Insurance?

Updated April, 2020

It depends on the other person's insurance. Some types of insurance cover guest drivers. It also makes a difference if you're a family member and living in the same household as the car owner.

Does insurance follow the car or the driver?

This depends on your coverage type. In general, the insurance follows the car. Below we list the two main types of coverage:

  • Liability Insurance: All states, except New Hampshire, require liability insurance. Liability insurance follows the driver, not the car.

Keep in mind, that liability insurance usually only covers temporary car use. If you plan to borrow someone else's car for an extended period of time, your liability insurance may not cover you. If you plan to get liability insurance ask the insurer how their specific policy works.

  • Comprehensive and Collision Insurance: These types of insurance follow the car, not the driver. If a car borrower gets into an accident, the car's damage is covered under the owner's insurance. The owner needs to add you to their list of drivers to their policy to make sure you're covered in case of injury.

This only applies when borrowing a friend or family member's car. If you're borrowing a rental or dealership car, liability insurance is enough.

Options for the car owner when letting someone borrow their car

  • Permissive Use: Due to the "omnibus clause" family members, spouses, and children are considered permissive use drivers. People of close relation living in the same house may use the car with the insured's permission, unless the insured specifically lists them as "non-permissive use" drivers. As always, have the car owner check with their insurer beforehand.

Note that in some states, permissive drivers receive less coverage.

  • Listing Drivers On Their Policy: The insured may also list people on their policy who are allowed to use their vehicle. This ensures coverage under that policy. Even if you meet the permissive use requirement, it's good to have them list you specifically. This is especially helpful if you plan to borrow the insured's car often and for an extended period of time.

Non-owner car insurance is a solution

If you don't have your own car but plan to use someone else's often, consider non-owner car insurance. This type of policy provides liability coverage for drivers who don't have their own vehicle. It normally includes bodily injury and property damage liability. It might even include medical coverage and uninsured motorist coverage.

Check with potential insurers on what their non-owner car policy covers. A non-owner policy does not include comprehensive, collision, rental reimbursement, or towing coverage.

Contact Progressive for an easy quote, today. You can get more info and explore what's right for you.

Tips for borrowing someone else's car

A few tips to remember before borrowing someone else's car:

  • Ask the insured driver to check their policy for terms involved with loaning their car to you.
  • Make sure you have a valid driver's license before borrowing someone's car.
  • Be certain that the insured has their registration and insurance information in the car's glove box.
  • If you plan to use the insured's car habitually, ask them to add you to their policy as a driver. This protects you both.

Don't be irresponsible, get insurance

Being uninsured is a temporary situation. If you plan to drive, even if you don't have your own vehicle, the responsible action is to get yourself insured. This may mean basic liability insurance or non-owner car insurance.

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