YOU ASK:

Are you covered by a family member's insurance when driving their car?

WE ANSWER:

Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

Don't automatically assume that since your family member's car insurance policy is the type that "follows the car", you will automatically have coverage. This policy has its own guidelines that you must follow.

Usually, the owner of the insurance is required to list the drivers of the car. If you are not listed, the car insurance may extend coverage to you for as long as:

  • You don't live in the same house as the owner of the car and the insurance.
  • You are not named in the title of the car.
  • You don't have usual access to the car - meaning you only get to drive the car occasionally. If you plan to drive the car regularly, you need to be listed. Otherwise, the insurance company may have cause to deny the claim due to failure to comply with these guidelines. This particular guideline is to prevent young members (24 years old or below) of the family from automatically being covered under the policy.
  • The owner allowed you to use the car. The insurance will not cover car thieves or someone who decided to take the car for a ride without permission.

Remember, the coverage for the unlisted drivers may be limited.

Ask First, Before You Drive

What is important is that you make sure that you are covered before you even take the wheels. This is to prevent you from facing large liability claims that the insurance company will not pay.

One other thing to remember is that if you don't have coverage, you are driving without insurance, a violation that can cause you to lose your license and even result in jail time and heavy penalties.

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