Insurance coverage on an insured vehicle, un-insured driver?
July 9, 2006 7:41 AM   Subscribe

What happens when a licensed driver gets into an accident while driving an insured vehicle, even though he or she is not listed as a driver on the car's insurance policy?

If it matters, I'm curious about how this works in the state of New Jersey. What if the driver is borrowing someone else's car but does not own a car of their own and thus does not have an insurance policy in their name? An example might be if this un-insured but licensed driver just needed to borrow a car for a weekend to move to a new apartment, but did not drive the vehicle enough to necessitate being listed on the policy and paying extra money.
posted by Ekim Neems to Travel & Transportation (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Usually it is the vehicle that is insured, under parameters that the policyholder tells the insurer (such as Person A drives the car to work daily, Person B is an occasional driver who is away at college out of state most of the time). Letting another licensed driver drive the car once shouldn't be an issue unless that is prohibited under your policy, which seems unlikely.

But really, your insurance agent should be able to easily answer questions like this. Don't be afraid to call them.
posted by grouse at 8:31 AM on July 9, 2006

It depends on the policy. On my policy, if I give the person permission to drive the car, they're covered.
posted by birdherder at 8:36 AM on July 9, 2006

I've never seen an insurance company refuse to cover an incident when a non-covered driver was driving, but my husband's (USAA, military-only, if it matters) policy threatened to drop him for allowing someone else to drive (it was a junior member of his shop, but the person we'd authorized to drive the car was a friend who was going to buy it, and she'd let her boyfriend drive).
posted by Cricket at 9:25 AM on July 9, 2006

I'm in Texas. My ex drove my car and totaled it. His insurance paid for it. It took a bit of haggling to get them to pay me a decent amount.
posted by nimsey lou at 9:32 AM on July 9, 2006

The answer to this should be in your policy, if you look closely enough. The policies I have had cover an occasional driver who does not share a residence with the insured, unless they are explicitly excluded. If a licensed driver shares a residence with the policyholder(s), though, they must be listed on the policy or they will be excluded. But your policy may be different.
posted by brianogilvie at 10:02 AM on July 9, 2006

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