Does full coverage insurance cover someone else driving my car?

Full coverage car insurance follows the car but may sometimes follow the driver, and vehicle owners should learn which kind of coverage applies.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 18, 2022

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Things to Remember

  • Full coverage insurance usually includes collision, liability, and comprehensive coverage
  • Some types of auto insurance follow the vehicle while others follow the driver
  • Always ensure the other driver has some kind of auto insurance before letting them drive your car

Typically, full coverage insurance for your car will financially cover the driver for damages to the car they use, additional occupants of the vehicle, and drivers and occupants of other vehicles involved in the accident.

Full coverage insurance typically includes collision, comprehensive, and liability coverage. Collision and comprehensive protect you and your vehicle, while liability insurance covers the damages you cause to other people and vehicles.

So, before you ask, “Does insurance cover another driver?” or “Can my kids drive my car?”, it helps to understand what full coverage means.

What does full coverage insurance include?

Full coverage insurance generally includes liability, collision, and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is a requirement in every state but New Hampshire and Virginia. It covers damages you cause to another vehicle or person while driving. 

Liability insurance usually follows the driver and pays for repairs and damages to the not-at-fault vehicle. So, before you allow someone to drive your car, you should verify that their car insurance coverage includes liability.

Collision Insurance

Collision insurance covers your vehicle when it gets into an accident while your car is in motion. 

For example, if you hit another vehicle, a guardrail, or even a light post, and your vehicle gets damaged, your collision insurance will cover the damages. 

This kind of insurance usually follows the vehicle, not the driver.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive insurance, also referred to as “other than collision” coverage, caters to expenses arising from various auto-related incidents. 

These can include the following: 

  • Vandalism
  • Fire
  • Theft
  • Riots
  • Falling objects
  • Windshield damage

Comprehensive coverage also usually follows the vehicle, not the person.

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What else does full coverage insurance cover?

Full coverage insurance covers the majority of incidents related to driver liability, collision, and other adverse events affecting your vehicle.

However, you may opt into other types of auto insurance to extend your coverage. These add-ons can include:

  • GAP insurance. This coverage pays off the car loan if the car gets totaled and you owe more than its current value.
  • Rental car coverage. This type of insurance will pay for rental car expenses to enable you to move around when your vehicle is out of commission due to an accident.
  • Medical payments insurance. Regardless of whose fault the accident is, this insurance will cover medical bills for you and your passengers after an accident. 
  • Underinsured and uninsured motorist insurance. Suppose the other vehicle’s driver caused an accident but cannot pay for the damages. In that case, your uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage will kick in and pay for the expenses you incur.
  • Towing or emergency road service insurance. This coverage is for your car repair and towing services if you get stranded somewhere.

Another common add-on is personal injury protection (PIP). In some cases, PIP is required by law.  This no-fault insurance coverage will pay healthcare expenses, funeral bills, child care expenses, and lost income. And it works even if the policyholder and passengers did not have regular health insurance.

So, if the other driver has PIP and they cause an accident in your vehicle, their insurance will kick in and pay for their medical expenses.

In the case of MedPay, the coverage follows the driver, not the car, which means it will cover you in a rental car, or the insurance for other drivers will kick in if they were driving your vehicle.

Covered Drivers vs. Excluded Drivers

You can include covered drivers, like friends or children, in your policy or permit them to drive your car on the insurance to protect them. 

Sometimes the insurer extends the coverage to drivers automatically, such as spouses, even if you don’t list them on your policy. And when a covered driver is involved in an accident, the full coverage insurance should cover them.

On the other hand, you also have the option to exclude people from being covered under your auto insurance policy. This might be because they have poor driving records or for a number of other reasons. 

When You Need to Know if Someone Has Insurance

You need to know if someone has car insurance coverage when you go to include them on your policy as a covered driver or lend them your car. 

Here are some tips to help make sure your vehicle and the other driver are covered on the road: 

  • Review your policy to ensure that it covers more than the policyholder, and under what circumstances.
  • Ensure the other driver has a valid license and auto insurance coverage.
  • Always keep your vehicle registration and car insurance card inside your vehicle.

This is also recommended for anyone that will be working for you and driving your vehicle while doing business.

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Make Sure Your Vehicle and Additional Drivers are Insured

Typically, when someone has full coverage car insurance and uses someone else’s vehicle, their insurer will provide primary coverage if they are liable for accidents. 

And then, your car’s insurance will provide secondary coverage if the driver’s liability exceeds what their policy covers.

However, concerning policies that follow vehicles instead of drivers, your auto insurer will be primarily responsible for processing your claims to pay for accident damages.

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