People often purchase car insurance to comply with local laws and protect other people. However, you might not be fully aware of how car insurance coverage works. Many people assume the coverage follows the driver, yet the truth is that an auto policy typically applies to the vehicle. Exploring the different scenarios that affect auto insurance coverage helps you understand your financial responsibility in the event of an accident.
Understand Why Auto Insurance Often Follows the Car
Most car insurance policies offer coverage that pays for any injuries or property damage that occurs if someone has an accident while driving your vehicle. While this is true most of the time, you’ll want to make sure the situation fits what your policy covers. In most cases, a car insurance policy will cover a driver who’s already listed on your policy, such as a spouse or other family member who lives at your residence. It may also cover unlisted drivers, provided you gave them permission to drive your vehicle and it fits within normal scenarios, such as helping you drive on a long-distance road trip. However, it wouldn’t be likely to cover damages caused by a teen driver who used the car without your permission.
Think Carefully before Letting Another Driver Use Your Car
Although your policy will likely cover other drivers, an accident can affect your future insurance coverage. Typically, the auto insurance rates will increase due to your vehicle being viewed as having an increased risk of being in another accident. The accident will often go on your insurance record, just as it would if you had been driving yourself. Since a driver’s actions could affect you for years into the future, you’ll want to be cautious before allowing just anyone to drive your vehicle.
Know When Your Insurance Policy Follows You
In some cases, your insurance coverage follows you. This could be true if you’re using a rental vehicle and have coverage for driving these cars in your policy. Some drivers also purchase special types of insurance that are offered for people who don’t have cars. Non-owner car insurance fills in gaps that might exist in a vehicle owner’s policy. For example, the other driver may not have enough uninsured motorist coverage to pay for your injuries if you get into an accident with someone who doesn’t have insurance. This type of policy is designed to follow you no matter which car you drive.
Always Be Aware of the Coverage for a Vehicle
While most policies follow the car, there can be major variances in how much coverage is offered to other drivers. You can also never be sure if someone has the right insurance coverage when you borrow the person’s vehicle unless you ask. Before lending or borrowing a car, take a moment to review each person’s insurance policies to make sure you fully understand how an accident is likely to be covered.
If you need affordable, reliable car insurance, look no further than the trustworthy pros at Altra Insurance Services. We can take care of a variety of your insurance needs, including motorcycle, homeowners, and business insurance as well as surety bonds. Give us a call today at (800) 719-9972 to find out more about our high-quality insurance products and impeccable service.