Will my auto insurance cover other cars?

Does auto insurance cover other cars? Auto insurance doesn't cover other cars, except in a few circumstances. Your car insurance policy covers your car and follows your car no matter who is driving. That means that if you drive someone else's car, their insurance will cover you. Your insurance may cover you as secondary protection if the owner's policy doesn't have enough coverage.

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Chris Tepedino is a feature writer that has written extensively about auto insurance for numerous websites. He has a college degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and has experience reporting, researching investigative pieces, and crafting detailed, data-driven features. His works have been featured on CB Blog Nation, Flow Words, Healing Law, WIBW Kansas, and Cinncinati.com. ...

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Written by Chris Tepedino
Insurance Feature Writer Chris Tepedino

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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Reviewed by Rachael Brennan
Licensed Insurance Agent Rachael Brennan

UPDATED: Nov 29, 2021

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Can't-Miss Facts

  • Your car insurance follows your car, not you as a driver
  • When someone else drives your car, it’s your insurance that covers them
  • Your car insurance doesn’t generally cover you in other cars with the exception of a rental car

Does auto insurance cover other cars? It depends on your auto insurance coverage. There are some situations where you are covered in another car, although car insurance generally follows the vehicle.

Does my car insurance cover other drivers? Does car insurance cover the car or the driver? How car insurance works is confusing. Don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Read our guide to find out if your auto insurance covers other cars. Also, we’ll explain why you should compare auto insurance.

Before you learn how auto insurance covers other cars, enter your ZIP code in the free online quote tool above to compare multiple insurance companies in your area.

Will my auto insurance cover me in another car?

Car insurance companies usually cover the car and anyone who drives that car with permission. In other words, a friend or family member that gets into an accident in your car will be covered under your policy.

If you are driving someone else’s car, it’s their insurance policy that covers you. That means you need to be sure the other person has insurance before you borrow their car.

When would I use my auto insurance policy to cover another car?

If you borrow a car and get into an accident, the owner’s insurance policy will cover you.

If the damage is over the coverage limit, your insurance may kick in as secondary coverage. That means that the owner’s insurance limits must be exceeded by the damage for your coverage to apply.

The one exception is if you rent a car. In that case your coverage will follow you. However, you should check with your insurance company to be clear on the rules for a rented car.

What if I’m a driver listed on the auto insurance policy?

Anyone listed on the auto insurance policy as a driver will be covered without any complications.

For example, a teen driver on a car insurance policy can use their parent or legal guardian’s policy to cover damages to the vehicle.

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Why won’t my auto insurance companies cover other cars?

An auto insurance company issues a policy to you based on factors related to both you as a driver and to the car you drive. Other cars are an unknown to them, and they haven’t included factors related to that car in your rates.

Your car insurance policy lists the car it covers. It also lists any drivers that use the car regularly, but that’s so that the insurance company can rate for the risk of those drivers

Driver rules vary for each company, but most will cover someone else driving your car. So, that means that when you drive another car, it’s the owner’s insurance that covers you.

When should I add a driver to my auto insurance policy?

You should add a driver to your policy if they live with you and drive your car regularly.

Adding a driver to your policy allows the insurance company to adjust rates for that driver, and makes sure that driver is covered. A household driver not listed on the policy may not be covered if you didn’t let the insurance company know about that driver.

Can someone drive my car if they are not on my auto insurance policy?

Yes, they can. As long as the driver is licensed and meets all requirements of coverage, the insurance company will cover them.

Bear in mind that you must give permission for the to drive, and they must use the car in accordance with the terms of the policy.

What happens if someone else is driving my car and gets in an accident?

If your friend, family member, or associate is not at fault in the accident, the at-fault driver will cover the cost of damages and injuries.

But if someone else drives your car and is found at fault in an accident, your liability insurance coverage pays for damages and injuries to the driver that’s not at fault.

This means that your rates could go up as a result of the accident, so be careful who you let drive your car.

Does my auto insurance cover commercial activities?

No, it doesn’t. If someone borrows your car to do rideshares or deliveries, your personal car insurance policy won’t cover any damages to your vehicle.

The person borrowing your vehicle will need to buy rideshare or commercial auto insurance. Or you can purchase commercial car insurance and add a frequent or occasional driver to your policy.

Does auto insurance cover the vehicle or the driver?

Auto insurance covers the car, but in the case where you are in an at-fault accident, your liability coverage does cover the other driver’s car.

Property damage liability covers the cost of damages to other cars and other damaged property when you’re at fault in a car accident.

However, property damage liability doesn’t pay for your vehicle’s damage no matter who is driving your car.

Bodily injury liability covers the cost of medical expenses.

Your insurance company won’t pay beyond the coverage limits. In most states, the minimum auto insurance coverage limit is as follows:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury of one person per accident
  • $50,000 for bodily injury of multiple people per accident
  • $25,000 for property damage per accident

These coverage limits are listed as 25/50/25. But car insurance companies recommend that you carry 50/100/50 limits to avoid out-of-pocket expenses or lawsuits. However, higher coverage limits drive up auto insurance rates.

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Which auto insurance coverage pays for my car?

If you want your car insurance company to cover damages for your vehicle after an authorized driver wrecks it, you’ll need more coverage.

Here’s a list of auto insurance coverage options that will pay for damages and repairs to your vehicle after an accident.

  • Collision insurance
  • Comprehensive insurance

Collision insurance and comprehensive insurance provide coverage even if you’re at fault in an accident. It can even cover vehicles if you give someone else permission to drive.

Collision auto insurance pays for damage to your vehicle after an accident regardless of fault.

Meanwhile, comprehensive car insurance pays for damage to your car that doesn’t involve a collision.

How does UM/UIM auto insurance work when someone borrows my vehicle?

UM/UIM coverage has two different parts. UM covers injuries and damage if you’re in an accident with an uninsured driver.

Uninsured motorist car insurance also provides coverage if you were hit by a hit-and-run driver.

UIM auto insurance covers injury and damage costs when the at-fault driver doesn’t have enough on their coverage limits to cover the cost of your medical bills and car repairs.

For instance, if a babysitter has permission to drive your vehicle and gets into an accident with a driver who doesn’t have enough coverage limits to cover the damage to the car, your UIM covers the rest of the cost.

Can I add other cars to my auto insurance policy?

Yes, you can. But adding more vehicles to your auto insurance policy increases your overall insurance bill. You can also add more car insurance coverage options to each vehicle.

Some insurance companies provide car insurance discounts for adding more vehicles to your policy.

How much is auto insurance when you add collision and comprehensive coverage?

According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), full coverage car insurance is $90 a month.

However, auto insurance rates tend to be much higher when you shop at various insurance companies.

So how do you get full coverage? When you add collision and comprehensive insurance, you’ll have something known as full coverage.

However, car insurance rates vary for each person and each company. The best way to secure affordable rates is to compare the top car insurance companies until you find what you need.

Let’s compare full coverage auto insurance to liability-only insurance and see which company has the cheapest auto insurance rates in the United States.

Average Monthly Full Coverage vs. Liability-Only Auto Insurance Rates
CompaniesMonthly Full Coverage Auto Insurance RatesMonthly Liability-Only Auto Insurance Rates
American Family$224$114
Liberty Mutual$398$203
State Farm$235$120

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USAA, GEICO, and American Family are the most affordable car insurance companies on the list. If you qualify for auto insurance discounts, you can drive the prices even lower.

Auto Insurance Coverage for Other Cars: The Bottom Line

Your car insurance policy covers your vehicle, even when someone else is driving.

However, your liability insurance won’t pay for damages to your car, and it only covers damage to other vehicles through liability insurance.

It’s best to buy medium to high coverage limits to make sure you have enough coverage in any claim.

If you want coverage to pay for damage to your car in an at-fault accident, you’ll need to add more coverage options, such as full coverage auto insurance.

Now that you know how auto insurance covers other cars, you’re ready to use our free online quote tool below to compare multiple companies near you.

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