Who is Insured Under My Auto Insurance Policy?

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Auto Insurance Qoutes

Who is Insured Under My Auto Insurance Policy?

Q:
If someone borrows my car, are they covered under my auto insurance?
A:

People always wonder, "Who is insured under my car insurance?" under a standard auto insurance policy. There are usually only one or two names listed in the "Named Insured" section of an car insurance policy, but that does not mean that they are the only people who are actually covered under the auto insurance policy. As a general rule, auto insurance coverage typically follows the vehicle around, not the driver or drivers. If your car is involved in a minor or a serious accident, the car typically receives the full coverage provided by the auto insurance policy, no matter who is driving the car.

Auto insurance policies normally provide the insurance coverage for your car if it is driven by any of the following people:

  • You, the "named insured"
  • Your spouse, as long as he or she lives in your household
  • Other family members who are related to you by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • A foster child who lives in your household
  • A child who is away at college but still considers the address listed on your policy as his or her permanent address
  • Anyone to whom you lend your car

Your auto insurance company may require that a few conditions be met in order for other drivers to be insured and covered under your insurance policy. For instance, anyone who drives your car usually must be a licensed driver. Also, most car insurance companies require that anyone driving your car be doing so with your granted permission. This doesn't mean that you have to give explicit permission each time anyone takes your car for a ride, but the person driving must have a reasonable belief that he or she is entitled to do so. Because these conditions can be different from companies, it is vital to check your policy carefully and make sure you understand any limitations that might apply before you allow others to drive your car.

Keep in mind, however, that most auto insurance companies require you to name and list the principal and secondary drivers of any of vehicles insured. If, for example, you have a teenage driver under your house, he or she should be listed on your car insurance policy even though your car insurance rates may increase quite a bit. Technically, a teen who is not listed on your policy would still be covered if he or she had an accident. But your insurer might still charge you retroactively for insurance coverage on your teen from the date that your teen became a licensed driver.

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