You’re at a relative’s house and they’ve run out of milk and need you to go get some, but you don’t have your car with you. They offer to let you use their vehicle to go to the store, but how do you know if you are covered in their car? This question can pose quite an issue. What if their insurance policy doesn’t cover you? What if they don’t have insurance? What if they don’t have enough insurance? These are all very valid questions, so how do you find out if your insurance policy covers you while you are driving another vehicle?
In most situations an insurance policy follows the vehicle, not the driver. Meaning when you are driving another person’s car the primary insurance, should an accident occur, would be the policy holder of the insured car that you are driving. Should the damage caused exceed the primary insurance coverage limits, your own insurance policy would kick in as a secondary insurance.
Each situation is different and so is each insurance policy. To better understand your insurance policy you need to start with the insurance policy Declaration. Your insurance declaration is unique to you. It states the household information, drivers, make and models of vehicles as well as the policy number and duration and the basic type of insurance purchased, policy limits and deductibles. There is also the Insuring Agreement that outlines the coverage options and limits. This will outline what your insurance company will provide for you during your policy duration. The Policy Exclusions will detail what is not covered under your policy’s limitations. Carefully reading these 3 sections of your insurance policy will give you a better understand of what is covered, what isn’t covered as well as what your insurance company expects from you as a policy holder and what you should expect from your insurance company.
While all of these documents are a valuable resource to have and fully understand, the language used in them can be confusing and hard to understand at times. The easiest thing you can do is call your insurance broker or insurance company. While speaking to your insurance agent, broker or company you are able to easily verify your policy information, what is covered, what is not covered and if your insurance policy covers you while you are driving another car.
Simply put, be proactive and research your policy, read your insurance policy thoroughly and clarify any questions or concerns with your insurance agent, broker or company. Damages from a car accident can add up quickly and become quite a hefty financial liability that can shadow you for years to come as well as increase a future insurance policy premium. So before you take those keys, get in and buckle up – take confidence in knowing you are doing so as an informed driver.