Temporary Auto Insurance
April 26, 2007 2:38 PM   Subscribe

My roomate and I are driving from California to New Jersey in his car... do I need to get some sort of temporary car insurance to drive his car?

I haven't owned a car in about a year, I've rented uhaul vans in the last year and both times I could pay some small fee for temporary insurance. Do I need to get temporary car insurance or while we are driving across the country in his car will I be covered by his insurance?
posted by matimer to Law & Government (11 answers total)
Best answer: If you're really worried about it, you can have him check with his insurance company, but most, if not all, auto insurance companies cover the car if another licensed driver is behind the wheel with the owner in the car. Mine (Geico) even covers my car if I loan it to someone.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 2:43 PM on April 26, 2007

The best thing for you to do is called your roommate's insurance agent and find out. It should be printed out on his or her card, and I've usually found my agent really easy to get a hold of. Most likely, you should inquire about being listed as an additional driver.

Google turns up a Yahoo answer re: California temp. insurance.

While you're right about temporary insurance being offered by companies like Enterprise and U-Haul (and mechanic shops with loaners), I don't think the principle carries over to your situation.
posted by phaedon at 2:45 PM on April 26, 2007

Your friend has to call his insurance company.
posted by trishthedish at 2:49 PM on April 26, 2007

I think you should be covered.

I made the reverse trip, from Jersey to LA a couple years ago after I graduated from college. I did the trip by myself, my car broke down twice and I almost died of heat stroke in Vinita, Oklahoma, but its one hell of a story to tell people over a few brews.

Enjoy it!
posted by AsRuinsAreToRome at 2:55 PM on April 26, 2007

He should double-check with his insurance company. You will most likely be covered because you're driving with his consent, but speaking from recent experience, I have found that the way in which this is handled will vary from company to company.
posted by scody at 3:04 PM on April 26, 2007

You need to talk to his insurance agent; it will be based on his policy.

There are two major methods of buying car insurance, which varies from state to state; it can either follow the driver, or follow the car. California does the driver method, so the default position is that you are not covered. You will need to be sure that the insurance has explicit language that will cover your use of the vehicle. If it doesn't, you'll need some kind of supplemental clause from his insurance company.

If he has a good insurer, it most likely will, but you need to be certain. Get it in writing -- the policy language is adequate for this purpose. If the policy isn't extremely clear that you're covered, make sure you have a piece of paper in your hand before you leave.
posted by Malor at 3:35 PM on April 26, 2007

IIRC, anyone who drives the car is included unless they are specifically excluded in the policy.
posted by IronLizard at 4:18 PM on April 26, 2007

(Then again, I'm in a different state)
posted by IronLizard at 4:18 PM on April 26, 2007

California does the driver method

Every policy I've had in California, including my current one through 21st Century Insurance, has followed my CAR. The upside of this is that anyone who drives my car is covered (with one exception: if they live at my address, they must be listed on my policy). The downside is that if they wreck it, my premiums may go up.

According to CA law, it is both the driver's and owner's responsibility to make sure that the driver is covered by insurance (and can prove it on demand). So, if you're driving your friend's uninsured car, you can get a ticket.

But to answer your question, your friend needs to call his insurance company. They may want to list you on the policy (especially if you're young), but chances are very good that you'll be covered by his policy, as long as he's consenting to your use of the car.
posted by toxic at 5:57 PM on April 26, 2007

Anyone that your friend gives permission to drive his car is covered, it ain't complicated. It is in every policy.
posted by lee at 7:00 PM on April 26, 2007

I don't know about California, but in Arkansas, the liability insurance follows both the car and the driver.

If I let someone else borrow my car, they are not specifically excluded from my policy, and they are a licensed driver, my insurance covers them and my car.

If I drive someone else's car, whether they have it insured or not, I am covered by my insurance. I am also covered by their insurance, if any. The only time that's not the case is if I stole the car.

On the other hand, if I regularly furnish my car to someone else for their use, my insurance does not cover them unless they are specifically listed. But I don't just let someone come and go as they please with my vehicle, so it doesn't matter.
posted by wierdo at 7:24 PM on April 26, 2007

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