Does Automobile Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?

By Gary Wickert | June 5, 2014

  • November 17, 2015 at 4:35 pm
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    Nanette,

    I understand your concern about losing a loss free discount. Unfortunately turning a claim in will likely result in the loss of that discount…with most companies. (we are familiar with) Had you considered simply paying the claim out of pocket?

  • November 20, 2015 at 10:58 am
    emma1441 says:
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    Two vehicles owned by the same person. Both are insured. One has full coverage, the other has liability. Wake up in the morning and find the vehicle with full coverage has slid back and hit the liability covered vehicle causing extensive damage to that vehicle. No damage to full covered vehicle. Should the insurance pay for repair of vehicle that has liability only because the vehicle that hit it had full coverage? Is it legal for an insurance company to not cover because the vehicles are owned by the same person. If this had been a visitor in another vehicle it would have been covered.

    • November 25, 2015 at 2:36 pm
      Nobody Inparticular says:
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      Emma, The insurance company is likely correct in not covering damage to the vehicle that doesn’t have collision coverage. There is probably a clause both under the vehicle damage as well as the liability sections that address this.

  • November 23, 2015 at 1:27 pm
    Mahmoud says:
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    Thank you for discussing this topic.

    If I were to rent my own car to a friend or a neighbor for several months, and that friend has at least as good a driving record as mine, can I or him get an insurance policy for him, or add him as a driver on my policy, in a way that only him, the driver or the renter, is the responsible insured? In other words, if he gets into an accident, only his insurance record will be affected and not mine (the registered owner of the vehicle)?
    Any solution for this situation?
    Thank you

    • November 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm
      Nobody Inparticular says:
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      Mahmoud, Most personal lines companies I’m familiar frown upon renting out your vehicle to people. If you do so and then a claim happens you may not have any coverage from them. That may not bother you, but as the vehicle owner, the injured party could very well pursue you personally for a claim. I would recommend talking to an independent agent in your area that may be able to come up with a solution. It’s probably going to require some kind of commercial lines option. I could be wrong, it’s been known to happen.

      • November 29, 2015 at 9:54 pm
        Mahmoud says:
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        I agree with you. In that case, you have to start thinking about getting gap insurance, which is when you realize the whole thing is not worth it.
        Might as well lease it to him legally and have him get his own insurance. Thank you.

  • January 22, 2016 at 7:58 pm
    Jason says:
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    In California, even though a police report clearly shows their insured driver is at fault for ramming me and my kids, AAA insurance is denying coverage on the Driver’s policy. The driver was apparently “borrowing” the vehicle but it is a family member’s car. AAA denied coverage with the Driver’s policy because “we were unable to contact the insured by phone”. So now I have my insurance company doing a Carrier Discovery to determine who the insurance carrier is for the vehicle. It doesn’t make sense to me that insurance companies can simply deny coverage because they cannot reach their insured by phone or mail. I really don’t want to pay the deductible, plus my car will take weeks to get repaired and rentals aren’t cheap especially on my budget. Next year I’m getting rental coverage as well as low a deductible as possible because the hassle to deal with other insurance carriers other than your own is too shady and difficult. Can people simply not answer their phone or reply to mail and accidents they caused not go on their record? If that’s the case I’m going to start “borrowing” someone else’s car in case I’m ever at fault for an accident – free accident forgiveness because “it’s not my car!”

  • January 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm
    Antonio Garcia says:
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    So I was side swiped by some guy and he decided to drive away from the scene. I pursued and luckily caught him and took his keys. He fled on foot and wasn’t found by police. Well long story short, the guy had bought the car about two hours earlier. So he hadn’t put insurance on the car yet. But the sellers still had insurance coverage. Is the sellers insurance company still liable to pay my damages since it was only sold two hours before the accident? This is in California.

  • May 6, 2016 at 4:22 pm
    Camille says:
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    Can someone answer me this. Why would my accident appear on my mother’s insurance policy when I have my own? She had been overpaying all this time for no reason. When she went to get new insurance, they had to take me off of it. They did this without her knowledge. I don’t drive her car unless I have to. We are mostly in my car. Is this legal? I had Allstate and then I switched to Liberty. I had accident forgiveness on Allstate for that one. There should have been no penalty for it.

  • August 12, 2016 at 9:27 pm
    Mary says:
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    I live in Alabama. I have full coverage insurance on my car and liability on 2 other cars. My son just got his license this month and I have added him as a driver on my policy but he will not be the primary driver of any of the cars on the policy. My question is If he drive’s any of the cars on the policy…say to run to the store…if an accident happens will I be covered? The reason I’m asking is out of the 3 cars on the policy my insurance company said I had to pick one for him to be the primary driver…that just doesn’t sound right to me.

    • August 15, 2016 at 9:47 am
      InsuranceCommentary.com says:
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      Assigning someone as a primary driver of a vehicle is usually a rating issue, not a coverage issue. If you have an “ISO Standard” auto policy, resident family members are usually covered while using any declared auto and nonowned autos, BUT there are many non-ISO policies in the marketplace that provide lesser coverage. The only way to know is to read the policy and talk to the agent or insurer.

  • August 18, 2016 at 1:31 am
    Spade says:
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    Excellent article. I hope this is the first link that people stumble upon when researching whether they can borrow or lend a vehicle when the person driving is not listed on the policy. Thanks Gary!

  • August 18, 2016 at 10:12 am
    InsuranceCommentary.com says:
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    This unstructured article is full of inaccuracies and bad information. For example:

    “When an insured borrows a vehicle from a friend, the insured’s liability coverage usually steps in only when the insured’s policy limits are exceeded. Collision and comprehensive coverage do not apply to a borrowed vehicle.”

    What does the first sentence mean?

    For more most mainstream personal auto policies, the second sentence is completely wrong except for the few states and insurers that extend liability coverage for damage to nonowned autos.

    If the point is that auto policies are different, many of them dramatically different to the point that a price comparison alone is a completely worthless way of choosing an insurance policy/company, then I agree with the premise. But how that conclusion was reached in the article was a rambling mess.

  • September 8, 2016 at 2:28 am
    mary ramirez says:
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    Person run in to me and i have a 1999 car will I matter up with the adjuster to look at my car he said that he was going to call my car total loss will they want to settle with me will I told the insure that I want to fill on there insurance for damage property and that I want the insure fill a clime for lib.body injuries I have my Wright to let them know correct.



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