Does full coverage insurance cover someone else driving my car?

Full coverage typically follows the car covered on the policy and not the driver. Full coverage policies cost an average of $841 in the United States.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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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...

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UPDATED: Apr 24, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Full coverage may offer you the greatest level of protection, but it still comes with gaps that you should be aware of when you’re building your insurance policy
  • Most full coverage policies are policies that include both comprehensive and collision physical damage coverage options
  • Unlike some other types of coverage on your policy, full coverage typically follows the car covered on the policy and not the driver
  • Permissive users are drivers who don’t need to be rated on the policy but who are licensed to drive and have been granted permission to drive the covered auto

Full coverage insurance is a term that’s used on a regular basis. Instead of referring to an insurance policy that covers every claim you file, the term is used to describe a policy that provides physical damage coverage for the car that’s listed on the policy.

Some policies include coverage for your medical expenses and rental car costs.

Full coverage policies cost an average of $841 in the United States as a whole. In areas that are prone to claims, this premium is much higher. While the coverage does give you peace of mind, it might not protect you or your property in every scenario.

Enter your zip code into our FREE comparison tool to make sure you get the right coverage at the best price!

Does auto insurance follow the car or the driver?

If you’re worried about your full coverage insurance paying when someone else is driving your car, it’s important to research so that you understand how your insurance works.

Insurance doesn’t just follow the car or the driver. In some scenarios, insurance will follow the car. In others, insurance will follow only the car. It depends on who is driving your vehicle, what type of coverage you need to use, and how the incident occurred.

Typically, liability insurance follows the driver, and full coverage follows the car.

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What does full coverage protect?

Full coverage isn’t a box you check when you’re applying for insurance. Since there’s not just one universal definition of a full coverage policy, it’s important to ask your agent what full coverage means in your case.

Understanding coverage options can help you decide whether you need to add extra endorsements or remove coverage options that are too expensive.

Here’s a breakdown of what might be included:

  • Comprehensive – Pays for claims to your car when it’s damaged in a non-collision loss
  • Collision – Pays for damage to your car when it’s involved in a collision
  • Medical Payments – Pays a specified limit for your and your passenger’s medical bills regardless of who’s at fault in a loss
  • Uninsured Motorist – Pays for medical, property damage expenses, and lost wages when someone without insurance hits you
  • Rental Car – Pays for rental car expenses when you have a covered loss
  • GAP – Pays for the GAP between what you owe and what the car is worth when it is totaled in an accident
  • Towing – Pays for roadside assistance when your car breaks down

How does physical damage coverage work when you lend your car to someone else?

If you have a standard personal auto policy, the physical damage coverage on your policy will follow your car when it’s being operated by you, household members on your policy, and other drivers who have been given permission to drive it.

It’s also common for your Medical Payments coverage, Uninsured Motorist, and Rental Car coverage options to follow the car.

What is the permissive user provision and who qualifies?

The permissive user provision is a provision written into standard auto insurance policies that say that coverage will extend when the car on the policy is being operated by someone other than the insured.

While your insurer does allow you to lend your car out, you can’t lend your car out to just anyone.

If the company allowed this, policyholders wouldn’t add high-risk drivers to their policies.

Here are some of the qualifications:

  • You must be licensed to drive
  • You must be 25 or older
  • You can’t be a child of the insured
  • You can’t live in the household

If someone lives in your home and drives your car, they should be listed as a rated driver on your insurance policy. Be sure to get multiple quotes before adding a new driver or new car. Use our FREE online rate comparison tool and you can easily compare the rates with several insurers.

References:

  1. http://carinsurance.about.com/od/PolicyFundamentals/a/Understanding-Full-Coverage-Auto-Insurance.htm
  2. http://www.iiat.org/infocentral/policy-coverages/auto-dealers-(iso)/covered-autos-coverage/physical-damage-coverage
  3. http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2014/06/05/249762.htm
  4. http://www.claimsjournal.com/news/national/2009/11/16/105163.htm
  5. http://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/auto-insurance
  6. https://www.ldi.la.gov/docs/default-source/documents/publicaffairs/consumerpublications/auto-insurance-guide.pdf?sfvrsn=15
  7. http://www.iii.org/article/infographic-types-of-auto-coverage
  8. https://www.justia.com/trials-litigation/docs/caci/700/720.html

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