“If I Borrow My Friends Car Will my Auto Insurance Still Cover me?”

You’ve borrowed your girlfriend’s car for a few hours to run a few errands. As you’re driving back to drop off her car, you run a red light and you’re involved in a slight fender bender. Thankfully, no one was hurt, but several questions are probably running through your mind, for instance — “How much will this cost?”, “Will her insurance pay for this?” or “Will I be covered under my insurance policy?”

We’ll explain the answer to the question, “If I borrow my friends car — am I still be covered under my insurance policy?”


In the United States, the answer to that question varies according to BOTH the state you live in and the type of policy you have at that time. The most common way this situation is handled is:

  • If the necessary coverage fits into the vehicle owner’s policy term limits — their insurance is generally, considered the primary coverage.
  • If the owner’s policy does not allow coverage to the driver — then the driver’s insurance will be used as the primary coverage for the claim.

The best way to know for sure is to contact your insurance provider and find out directly from them.

However, what this means is:

  • Depending on several different aspects of the policy (liability, medical, uninsured motorist, etc.), the driver’s insurance will typically, follow them wherever they go, no matter what vehicle they’re driving.

Therefore, if the “personal use” vehicle is adequately covered, then the owner’s insurance will act as primary coverage, and the driver’s insurance paying anything that wasn’t covered by the owner’s insurance.

While this may be good news, there are restrictions to this rule. For instance, a driver will NOT be covered on their insurance, if they are driving:

                *A vehicle that is intended for commercial use


                *A vehicle that they are driving for business-related purposes

Other Specifics

Some insurance policies offer “name-specific” coverage that only covers drivers that are listed on the policy for the vehicle. While this option is often, cheaper — it doesn’t provide coverage, in the event that something happens with an occasional/permitted driver.

In this type of event, the owner’s coverage typically, determines the outcome — who will be the primary insurer for the incident. Most policies give coverage to ANYONE who is driving the insured vehicle, unless:

  • The driver has been excluded from the policy or
  • The owner can prove the driver stole the vehicle (with a copy of the theft report)

While this is generally, the rule — it’s not true for all policies or in all states. Therefore, it is essential to call your insurance company to ask about the details before driving your friend’s car or driving hers. A quick call to the insurance company before handing over the keys could save a lot of time, money and hassle. While we can’t offer advice for how to tell your friend about the accident — we hope that now, if anything does happen, you’ll know what to do.

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