I’m Borrowing My Friend’s Vehicle… Am I Covered?
At AFS, we get a lot of questions about borrowing and loaning a vehicle. For instance, you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project, or a trip to the local landfill. Or maybe you just need to pick up your friend from work. Regardless, we thought it would be a great time to provide a little more information on the topic.
Generally, insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver.
So in most instances, as long as the owner of the car has insurance, it’s covered even if someone other than the owner is driving it, and as long as they have the owner’s permission. The borrower’s insurance will be considered secondary, meaning that in the event of an accident, it could apply if the owner’s insurance is insufficient to fully cover the damage.
There are some exceptions to what is called “permissive use” coverage.
For example, permission must be given by the owner, unless the borrower has a reasonable belief that they are allowed to use the car. However, the borrower cannot give permission to someone else. So if your teenager allows one of his or her friends to drive your car, your coverage likely won’t apply.
Coverage can, and will, be denied in some cases.
Coverage might be denied if the borrower operates the vehicle in a negligent or criminal manner. In addition, if the borrower is using your car for business purposes, your personal auto policy likely won’t cover that either.
For long term use and those without a car.
For those that may have a regular long-term arrangement to either borrow or lend a car, the borrower should probably be added to the owner’s personal auto policy as well. As for those who don’t own a car, but often borrow one, should also consider “named non-owner coverage.” This is an endorsement that provides bodily injury, property damage liability, uninsured motorists coverage, and more.
The bottom line.
It’s usually safe to loan your car to a friend for occasional errands or projects. The same also goes for borrowing a car. Just make sure it’s for “normal” use. You’ll want to confirm that the car has coverage and that your insurance, whether you’re the owner or borrower, will apply.
Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions.
After all, you don’t want to wait until after an accident to get answers!
This material is for general informational purposes only. All statements are subject to the terms, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. In all instances, current policy contract language prevails. Products, services and discounts referenced herein are not available in all states or in all underwriting companies. Coverage is subject to individual policyholders meeting our underwriting qualifications and state availability.