Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Aug 3, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Key takeaways...

  • Short-term insurance is available for drivers
  • Liability coverage goes with the driver when they use someone else’s car
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage stay with the car

When you have a friend visiting for a week, you may want to let them drive your car so that they can travel around on their own.

Even if you have every confidence that your friend will be careful behind the wheel, the fact is that accidents still happen.

You also don’t have any control over what other drivers on the road do. Technically, auto insurance policies generally follow your car. This means if you authorize a licensed driver to drive every once in awhile, your insurance will treat their claim like yours.

Sometimes, people want to practice extra caution, and there are other coverage options. You may want to get insurance coverage for your friend to slip into the driver’s seat of your car. Here’s what you should know about short-term coverage, loaning out your car, and the available options.

If you need better auto insurance rates to cover another driver on your policy, start comparison shopping today by entering your ZIP code above!

Should You Check in with Your Insurance Company First?

AdobeStock_30205775-1600x1600

When your sister mentions that she’d like to borrow your car to see the sights while she’s in town, tell her that you’ll let her know after talking with your insurance agent. You don’t have to make any changes to your policy immediately. If you talk to your insurance agent or customer service about a temporary policy rider, you can take time to consider your options.

The fact is that the policies vary between auto insurance companies. Some plans will cover anyone that drives your car as long as they have your permission. Others only extend to people who live in the home or those who are specifically listed on the policy. You don’t want to find out after an accident that your insurance providers don’t provide the coverage you expected.

Something to remember is that most insurance companies expect that licensed drivers living in the home will be listed on the policy. So if you’re insuring one car driven by multiple people or multiple cars, all regular drivers should be listed with their driving history. You can decide who you want to have authority to change the policy.

If the person in question is going to be moving in for an extended period of time, then you should provide the company with their information and have them added to your list of drivers.

If your provider wants to add the individual to your policy, then you can ask about the change in rates ahead of time. Depending on the person’s age and driving history, adding them can lead to a substantial increase in rates.

Rather than just agreeing to the change in premiums, you can shop around to find a more attractive plan. The point at which you decide to start shopping around is up to you. You can get quotes and switch insurance at any time.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Does Insurance Follow the Car or Driver

One reason this is such a confusing issue is that people don’t know if the insurance stays with the car or the driver.

In reality, it actually depends on the type of coverage. There can be some variations depending on the policy, but there are some general rules that apply.

Liability Coverage Goes with The Driver

In general, liability limits are assigned to a drive. So they follow the driver. Even if it’s just for a day or two, individual drivers can get short-term policies. Rental car insurance companies generally provide this option when you pick up the car.

If you borrow someone’s car, then the liability coverage will be based on your own policy and limits.

What and who your liability covers can really become very confusing if the person borrowing the car lacks any form of insurance coverage. In that case, a short-term plan may be the best choice.

Comprehensive and Collision Are Assigned To the Car

Comprehensive and collision insurance, however, are assigned to and will follow the car. So if your friend gets in an accident with your car, your insurance would cover the damage. This would also mean your insurance would go up.

In most cases, if you loan out your vehicle and the other person hits a light pole, the damage to your car will still be covered. It will depend on the coverage you choose, though. For example, if your friend or sister hits a deer and you don’t have comprehensive insurance, your collision auto insurance policy would not cover it. Similarly, if your friend or family member was not legally licensed, your insurance company may have a clause excluding them from coverage.

Be sure to check with your company to be sure that they’ll cover other drivers provided that they have permission from you.

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Where Can You Shop for Short-Term Insurance?

adobestock_68348861-1600x1600

It is possible to buy short-term car insurance that’s good for a few days up to a month. There are several companies willing to offer these plans. So you can compare rates and find the plan that’s right for you.

There are several times when you may need to invest in this type of short-term coverage, including:

  • When you rent a car
  • If you loan out your personal vehicle to a friend
  • When you’re borrowing a car from someone else

Before you hand over your car keys, take some time to check into your insurance limits and information. If you’re using services like Turo to rent your car out, the company may offer their own insurance plans for a price. In many cases, this is wise. Traditional insurance companies may not extend their collision coverage and other coverage to complete strangers. The coverage would end as soon as your client picked up the car.

If your policy specifically states that it covers anyone you allow to drive your car, then you’re set to loan it out. If you’re unsure, make sure to talk to your insurance agent about your current policy.

However, your policy may only cover listed drivers. In this case, you can either add the person to your plan on a short-term basis or have them purchase special insurance that will cover them on your car.

If you’re interested in changing your policy, you’ll get a preview of the new premium before you make any switch. If you don’t like the price, you can look into a separate temporary car insurance policy. You can also shop around to replace your insurance and see if you can get a better deal. By shopping around for better rates, you can save money on the plan and ensure that you have the coverage you need.

Start comparison shopping for better auto insurance rates by entering your ZIP code below!

References:

  1. https://www.lowmanlawfirm.com/blog/bid/100316/A-Friend-Borrowed-My-Car-Involved-In-An-Auto-Accident-Am-I-Liable
  2. http://yourcarangel.com/2012/06/520/
  3. https://www.confused.com/motor-insurance/get-covered/add-driver-to-car-insurance-policy
  4. https://wallethub.com/edu/comprehensive-vs-collision/10023/
  5. https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/06/05/249762.htm
  6. https://www.finweb.com/insurance/when-is-temporary-auto-insurance-a-good-idea.html#axzz4Sqb4kbYv