Two smiling female friends in a car together

You’re not insured, but your friend is insured. Or maybe you have motorcycle insurance, but not car insurance. Whatever the case may be, you’re wondering: Can I drive my friend’s car without insurance of my own?

Typically, the answer is yes. But that’s not always the case.

Driving someone else’s car without insurance — yay or nay?

Car insurance generally follows the car, not the driver.

Let’s say you don’t have auto insurance but want to borrow your friend Jessica’s car, which is insured in her name, to run a few errands. Jessica gives you permission to borrow her car. As long as you’ve got Jessica’s permission, it’s usually legal to get behind the wheel of her car, even though you’re not insured.
Why? Because auto insurance generally follows the car, not the driver.

However, the more important issue is whether Jessica’s insurance would provide coverage if you, for instance, crash her car. There’s no clear answer in this case.

According to Claims Journal, the issue of whether damage or injuries sustained while you were driving Jessica’s car depends on the details of her policy, the place where the accident happened (insurance laws vary from state to state), and the facts surrounding the incident.

Typically, your use of Jessica’s car would be covered by the liability portion of her policy, Claims Journal says. Yet that’s not always the way it works.

Some car insurance companies and policies won’t cover a driver who’s not named in Jessica’s policy, according to Claims Journal. In fact, if you, the uninsured driver, are living temporarily with Jessica and are regularly driving her car, then her insurance company will expect you to be added to her policy, the journal says.

What if you cause an accident in a friend’s car?

This is a tricky situation! Jessica’s insurance might kick in. However, the injured party could also sue both you and Jessica, as you were legally responsible for the accident. There are a handful of other potential consequences that could come from causing an accident in a friend’s car, all of which could put stress on your friendship.

What if you get a ticket in a friend’s car?

OK, but what if you get a speeding ticket while driving Jessica’s car? Chances are, Jessica’s auto insurance won’t take a hit. Rather, it’s your driving record that’ll take the hit, because you were the one going 65 mph in a 50 mph zone, not Jessica.

Non-owner car insurance is a solution

If you want to keep Jessica out of financial and legal trouble yet still drive her car, you might consider non-owner auto insurance coverage.

This type of policy provides liability coverage for drivers who don’t have a car. It’ll include bodily injury liability and property damage liability, and might include medical payments coverage and uninsured/uninsured motorist coverage. However, a non-owner policy won’t include comprehensive, collision, rental reimbursement, or towing coverage.

Still wondering whether you can drive a friend’s car without insurance? Call 1-877-463-4732, click, or come into a Direct Auto location near you! We’re ready to answer all of your car insurance questions.

* The information provided in this blog is designed to give helpful advice on the topic discussed. It is not intended to provide legal or any other type of advice and is not meant to be a thorough discussion of every issue that a person should consider or may encounter. Insurance coverages, including coverage for permissive drivers and for non-owner policies, are subject to the individual insurance companies’ terms and conditions. The Direct Auto insurance carrier & agency members of the National General Ins. Grp., Winston-Salem, NC.

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