Is an Uninsured Driver Covered on My Insurance While Driving My Car?

An uninsured driver is usually covered by your auto insurance while she's behind the wheel of your car because insurance "follows the vehicle." This means that regardless of the driver, an insured vehicle will cover the driver as long as the policy does not expressly exclude a non-owner driver from coverage. If a relative or friend gets into an accident while driving your car, the policy will pay for personal injuries and property damages, depending on the extent of damages and insurance limit.

There are a few exceptions to the general rule that allows for coverage to individuals driving a car that belongs to someone else. If you are not aware that someone else is driving your car, or you do not give permission or consent, the driver will not be covered by your policy. To be insured by your policy, a driver who borrows your vehicle must do so with the consent and permission of the car owner. Before agreeing to lend your car to someone else, you should always determine the scope of coverage your insurer will provide to the other person. You may contact the insurance company for information on coverage for non-owner drivers.

Regular Usage

Your auto insurance policy provides coverage for a driver who borrows your car occasionally. However, if the same individual drives your car routinely, you may have to add the driver to the policy. This is because insurers set premiums based on the risk of accidents for the primary driver -- in this case, you. If another driver borrows your car frequently, you should notify the insurance company, especially if the other driver drives the vehicle as much as the primary driver. This would affect the risk of accidents and would therefore affect the premium set by the insurer. If you do not notify the insurance company that another driver uses your vehicle frequently, the insurer may deny any subsequent claims you make on the grounds of misrepresentation of facts.

Commercial Use

An uninsured driver may not be covered by your auto insurance policy if the driver operates the vehicle in a way that is not allowed by the policy. If you have a personal insurance policy and the driver uses your vehicle to conduct business, the policy will not cover the driver. Your insurance will cover the driver for personal use of your car, such as picking up relatives from the airport or driving to the beach. If the car is used to haul equipment or machinery used in a business, the driver will not be covered by your policy. Apart from commercial use, a driver using your vehicle may also be excluded from coverage if the vehicle is operated in a manner that would breach the insurance agreement in any way.

Non-Owner's Insurance

If the driver using your car does so because he does not own a car, a non-owner's insurance policy may be the best solution. Unlike a standard auto insurance policy, a non-owner's policy follows the driver, meaning that regardless of the car being driven (borrowed or rental), the driver will always be covered. Suppose your neighbor is driving your vehicle over the weekend. In case of an accident, your policy would be the primary insurance and would kick in first. If the accident was caused by your neighbor, his non-owner's insurance would kick in after the primary insurance and would cover the excess of damages over the primary insurance.