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

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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.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 27, 2020

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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.

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!

Always Check With Your Company First


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.

The fact is that the policies vary from one company to another. 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.

Something to remember is that most insurance companies expect that licensed drivers living in the home will be listed on 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.

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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 driver, and so they follow the driver.

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.

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.

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

Shop Around for Short-Term Insurance


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 your policy specifically states that it covers anyone you allow to drive your car, then you’re set to loan it out.

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.

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!