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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joshua is a copywriter at Obrella who for more than 10 years has been creating content about insurance, health care, and more. He helps companies explain complex insurance subjects in simple ways so that customers can make smart buying decisions. He spends way too much time binge-watching Netflix, loves the outdoors and has a cat who tolerates him.

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Reviewed by Joshua Adamson
Joshua Adamson

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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Does Car Insurance Cover Other Drivers?

Generally speaking, your car insurance stays with your car. That means the insurance you have on the vehicle covers it whether you, your relative, or a friend is driving it. Depending on your insurance coverage, it will also cover damage incurred if your car is stolen. It's important to note that drivers who are not on your policy and don't live with you must have your permission to use your car. In the insurance industry this is referred to as “permissive users."

Does car insurance cover family members?

Typically, when people who live under the same roof drive your car, they’ll be covered by your car insurance. To a certain degree, an auto insurance carrier assumes you might let your children, parents, siblings, etc. drive your car. So they ask how many people of driving age are in your household.

In some states, all the drivers in your house are required to be named on your policy. In either case, if a relative who lives with you uses your car, they will probably be covered, as long as they have a valid driver’s license. If a relative who does not live with you borrows your car, they should also be covered under permissive use.

If your relative uses your vehicle on a regular basis for several weeks, your auto insurance company may require they be added to your policy. When in doubt, it’s best to ask your insurance agent if other drivers are covered by your policy before you let them get behind the wheel.

The insurance you have on the vehicle covers it whether you, your relative, or a friend is driving it.

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Does car insurance cover friends?

Similar to family members who don’t live with you, permissive use typically covers friends. However, friends or other drivers who are not named on your insurance policy may face lower liability limits. If your boyfriend or girlfriend has your permission and uses your car, they will be covered just like a friend is. But, if you move in together, you might have to add them as a driver on your policy.

Does an Auto Insurance Policy Cover Unlicensed Drivers?

It’s one thing to be an inexperienced driver. Typically, parents add their young teen drivers with permits or new licenses onto their insurance policy. If your child is not licensed, their driving should not be a regular practice. If it is, you could find yourself in a tough spot paying for a lot more than you expected. Occasionally, we hear stories of young children who accidentally push the car out of park on a hill or drive away unauthorized. Permissive use is not designed for an unlicensed driver in this sense.

Depending on the situation, your insurance premium will definitely go up. But you may or may not have the benefit of full liability coverage.

If you aren’t happy with your insurance policy and the way it handles other drivers, give an agent a call today. They are standing by to help you compare the coverage offered by a variety of policies so you can find one that’s perfect for your situation.

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