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.

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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 9, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Some car insurance policies automatically extend coverage to the operation of a family members vehicle, however, the assumption of being insured should never be taken for granted
  • The best way to understand if you have coverage while operating someone else’s vehicle is to contact your car insurance company.
  • Most of the time listing an additional driver is free or minimal charge and really is added protection you should always take advantage of

How many times have you asked to borrow a family member’s car? Did you ever stop to think about whether or not you would be covered by car insurance if the quick milk run to the local 7-11 ended up resulting in a car accident?

Every car insurance policy is different so never assume you are automatically covered.

Some car insurance policies automatically extend coverage to the operation of a family members vehicle; however, the assumption of being insured should never be taken for granted.

Use our FREE quote tool to compare auto insurance rates!

Table of Contents

How to check if you are insured?

The best way to understand if you have coverage while operating someone else’s vehicle is to contact your car insurance company.

If you are insured then always ask for more details. Question whether the coverage is only extended to vehicle of family members (and if so – what constitutes a family member) or any vehicle in general.

For the most part car insurance is with the car and policies often have exclusions about who can operate the vehicle.

We speak about education a lot within this site and its minor little things which can cause you from having full coverage to no coverage within seconds unless you take a few moments to discuss the details of coverage with your agent and not simply focus on premiums.

Driving somebody else’s car may expose you to great liability if you do not have car insurance coverage.

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Do I have to list my spouse?

Whenever you purchase car insurance it’s both wise and often mandatory to list any drivers in the household.

Your spouse is a key person since most likely he/she will operate the vehicle from time to time, and having a spouse listed avoids any complications about who was insured in the event of an accident.

A lot of people often forget to list other household drivers who have access to the vehicle to speak with your car insurance company and learn about what coverage is extended.

Most of the time listing an additional driver is free or minimal charge and really is added protection you should always take advantage of.

Car insurance companies do however impose some restrictions on who you can list as an additional driver.

Teenage or young drivers (under the age of 25) are viewed as high-risk or a household member with a DUI charge – you always should operate under full and voluntary disclosure when securing car insurance coverage to avoid complications down the road.

How much should I tell the car insurance company?

Believe it or not, a car insurance company is on your side.

It’s only when a policyholder hides an important detail from the application when things get a little less friendly between you and the claims department.

Full and voluntary disclosure means telling your car insurance company all the details about your vehicle and household drivers before applying for a policy.

Ready to compare car insurance companies? Shop car insurance rates today.

References:

  1. https://www.injuryattorneyofdallas.com/another-driver-accident-car/
  2. https://www.thebalance.com/someone-borrowed-my-car-and-got-in-an-accident-527137
  3. https://www.goodfinancialcents.com/best-auto-insurance-companies/
  4. https://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/06/05/249762.htm
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voluntary_disclosure