Does car insurance cover me driving another car?

If you've ever wondered if car insurance covers you driving another car, the answer depends on the type of coverage you have. Standard car insurance policies will only cover the vehicles listed on the policy, not other cars the driver may drive. You can get a non-owner car insurance policy to cover damages you cause driving someone else's vehicle, but this is liability coverage only.

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D. Gilson is a writer and author of essays, poetry, and scholarship that explore the relationship between popular culture, literature, sexuality, and memoir. His latest book is Jesus Freak, with Will Stockton, part of Bloomsbury’s 33 1/3 Series. His other books include I Will Say This Exactly One Time and Crush. His first chapbook, Catch & Release, won the 2012 Robin Becker Prize from Seve...

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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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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Feb 21, 2022

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The Highlights

  • Generally, your car insurance policy will follow the car, not the driver.
  • If you get in an accident driving a friend’s car, their car insurance policy will take effect.
  • You can buy non-owner car insurance to cover damages you cause driving vehicles you don’t own.

When you compare car insurance quotes from different companies, it’s important to find out what each auto insurance policy covers. One question you may have is does car insurance cover me driving another car?

In this situation, there are several factors at play. For example, you may be wondering does car insurance follow the car or the driver? Are there specific policies or types of coverage that protects drivers operating vehicles they don’t own?

Keep reading to learn if your car insurance covers you driving another car, what non-owner car insurance covers, and what happens if you drive uninsured.

Never drive without auto insurance. Find affordable car insurance near you right now with our free comparison tool above. Enter your ZIP code now to start comparing car insurance quotes.

Does my insurance cover me driving other cars?

Generally speaking, car insurance policies follow the car, not the driver. When you sign up for an auto policy, you’re insuring a specific vehicle that you own. If you get in an accident while driving that vehicle, certain damages will be covered.

If you allow a friend, family member, or another named policyholder to drive your insured vehicle and they get in an accident, your policy would also take effect. As long as you permitted your friend to drive the car, you should be covered.

However, if you’re driving another person’s car and you get in an accident, your auto policy would not take effect. The owner of the vehicle’s policy would take effect for the covered accident. So if you’re wondering, “does my car insurance cover me in another car?” the answer is no.

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What is non-owner car insurance?

If you are in the habit of driving someone else’s car often or even renting a car for business regularly, you may want to invest in a non-owner car insurance policy.

Non-owner car insurance is an insurance policy that covers only the driver, not the vehicle. Non-owner car insurance is typically property damage liability coverage only, which means it only covers damage you cause to another person’s vehicle.

This can come in handy if you get in an accident in another person’s car and the damages exceed their car insurance limits. In this scenario, your non-owner car insurance can help cover the difference.

If you’re interested in non-owner car insurance, shop around. Not every auto insurance company will offer non-owner auto insurance. Compare car insurance rates from several different companies to find the best deal.

What happens if I’m uninsured?

If you’re an uninsured driver driving an insured car, then the owner’s policy will still cover any damages you get into as long as you had the permission of the owner to drive the vehicle.

However, if you don’t have non-owner car insurance, should the damages exceed the policy limits, you’ll have to pay the difference out of pocket.

Not only is driving uninsured dangerous, but it’s also against the law. If you get into an accident while driving uninsured, you’ll be on the hook for paying any damages out of pocket. According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of property damage to a vehicle is $4,600.

Now that you know the answer to the question does auto insurance cover me driving another car, start shopping for car insurance today. Enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool below to buy car insurance from providers in your area.

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