Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He also has an MBA from the University of South Florid...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: Jan 17, 2022

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At a Glance

  • Auto insurance usually follows the car, not the driver, so you’ll be financially responsible if anything happens
  • If your vehicle has permissive use coverage, you can allow anyone to drive your vehicle
  • Some insurance companies don’t allow any permissive use at all, so it’s smart to check first

Can someone drive my car and be covered on my auto insurance? Insurance companies allow the insurance to follow the car, meaning that anyone with permissive use can drive your vehicle. However, you should be aware that some insurance companies don’t allow any permissive use to anyone without the auto owner’s car insurance.

If you’re wondering, can someone drive my car and be covered on my auto insurance? Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay for a permissive use policy today.

Can someone drive my car and be covered on insurance?

Typically, the insurance follows the car and not the driver. If you lend someone your car and your insurance covers that, you’ll be the one paying for any damages during an accident. This is why it is recommended you inform your insurer of everyone living in the house since they will have access to your vehicle.

Whether or not your coverage extends to other drivers of your vehicle will also depend on your insurance company. If you’re unsure, consider discussing it with an agent before you lend your car to someone else.

Do you need insurance to drive someone else’s car? Yes, and another vehicle option is non-owner auto insurance, which always provides liability coverage. Some of the insurance companies that allow you to lend your vehicle and still be covered by non-owner auto insurance include:

  • Allstate
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive

These companies will give you coverage that provides minimum liability insurance coverage. This can ensure that you aren’t entirely responsible for the cost of your auto insurance repairs. However, you should also be aware that an accident can raise your vehicle insurance quotes by over 50% compared to a non-accident driver.

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When should I confirm my insurance before letting someone drive my car?

If you don’t know if your insurance company will be okay with someone else driving your car, ask and find out. Sending a quick email or calling an agent will help you confirm your auto insurance. And if you need extra coverage, the insurance agent can sign you up.

If you already have non-owner coverage, you should be fine to lend someone your vehicle or borrow another’s vehicle that has the coverage.

When is it okay to lend someone my car?

Whenever you lend someone your car, you should be aware that your vehicle will be at the mercy of the new driver. Consider how they have driven in the past.

Since your insurance will follow the vehicle and not the driver, you’ll be the one who has to face the financial consequences. If they get into an accident, your insurance will be responsible. Not only does this mean repairing your car, but you’ll also be responsible for paying higher rates.

Does insurance follow the car or the driver?

If you were to get into an accident with your vehicle, your insurance would be responsible for paying for damages to other cars and people.

This same principle follows if you were to lend your vehicle to a friend or family member. Again, you’ll be the one who’s responsible for paying the costs of any damages to property or other people.

Since the insurance follows your car, you’ll be responsible for the cost as the primary insurance holder. Not only that, but you’ll also be responsible for the repairs to your vehicle and the increased premiums to cover the risk. If someone frequently needs to use your vehicle, consider adding them to your insurance coverage.

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When will insurance cover an accident if someone else is driving my car?

There are multiple cases when insurance will cover your accident, including non-owner and standard auto insurance.

If you have non-owner auto insurance, then the driver will at least be covered for the minimum amount of liability required in your state. If you have standard auto insurance, it will follow the car and not the specific driver. However, that doesn’t mean you will be free from consequences.

For example, if you let someone else drive your car and they get in an accident, you’ll be the one held financially responsible. This means paying for repairs, property damage, personal injury, and higher premiums.

Can someone with a permit drive my car without insurance?

The short answer is yes. You need to have insurance coverage as a permit driver. However, the permit driver doesn’t need to have their insurance coverage by themselves. The permitted driver can drive that vehicle as long as they are covered under someone else’s policy.

Since permit drivers in most states need to have a supervising driver at all times, Tennessee included, it makes sense that they would also be covered under that same person’s insurance.

Letting your insurance company know about the new driver can be as simple as adding them to your policy. However, be aware that new drivers can raise your auto insurance rates.

What are permissive and non-permissive use?

When you lend someone your vehicle, you’ll be responsible for how they use the car. While your insurance may cover them under permissive use, be aware that you’ll be the one who’s responsible for the costs.

We can break down permissive and non-permissive use as:

  • Permissive use – When you give someone who isn’t in your household permission to use your car, meaning they’re covered under insurance.
  • Non-permissive use – When someone uses your car without permission, they likely won’t have coverage under your insurance policy.

Some insurance policies ban all permissive use, which is why it’s essential to check with your insurance company before you let someone drive your vehicle. If your auto insurance company doesn’t allow for permissive use, only people named on the insurance policy can drive the car.

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Letting Someone Drive Your Car and Be Covered on Insurance: The Bottom Line

If your insurance policy allows permissive use, anyone you lend your vehicle to will be covered on your policy. However, be aware that some policies don’t qualify for any permissive use at all.

Now that you know someone can drive your car and be covered on your insurance depending on certain factors, you have a better idea of when it’s permitted. Since you know someone can drive my car and be covered by my insurance, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay today.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.