Most auto insurers want to know about people of driving age living with you in the same household because they include them in their premium calculations and on the policy. And, standard car insurance policies cover occasional drivers who may use your car on the off chance with your permission, providing there are no limitations and exclusions on the coverage. However, this doesn’t mean you can let anyone drive your automobile for any purpose. Also, vehicle owners are responsible for the accidents and damages any permissive driver caused with their automobiles.
Most car insurance companies take the view that anyone living with you in the same household should either be included or explicitly excluded. So, a driver who is living in the same house with the policyholder isn’t an occasional driver and should be included in the policy. Once they are listed on the declaration page, they are insured without a doubt.
Insurers don’t like it when they find out someone who is living with the policyholder but not listed on the policy caused an accident. In such cases, they may accuse the policyholder of deliberately withholding information in order to avoid paying higher premiums and try to deny the claim. They may be successful too, depending on the state rules.
Someone who has regular access to the vehicle isn’t an occasional driver and should be included on the policy. For example, a boyfriend who is in your house most of the time and drives your car whenever he likes should be included on the policy, regardless of his residence.
Usually, standard policies provide coverage for occasional users, who are not listed on the policy. However, insurance doesn’t cover every driver. Here are some of the cases, in which your auto insurance may not cover the person driving your vehicle or it may be a grey area.
An owner isn’t responsible for non-permissive use of an automobile and they may not be held liable if someone takes their auto and causes an accident. If this is a friend, a family member or even someone living with you, there would be many complications and grey areas. And it would actually be theft if a total stranger takes your car and owners aren’t responsible for accidents caused by their stolen vehicle. On the other hand, policyholders would be able to make a claim for auto theft if they have Comprehensive coverage.
Most states allow driver exclusion and often automobile insurance companies may insist on it when they come across a high-risk driver in a household like someone with a DUI or a teenager. If a person is explicitly excluded from driving the insured car with an endorsement on the policy, the insurance company won’t pay for any damages they cause if they end up driving it.
If the owner knowingly allows an unlicensed driver or someone with a suspended license, the owner fails to take due care of his/her vehicle and insurers may try to refuse the claim on this basis. Also, it is illegal to let someone without a license drive your automobile, even if the vehicle has insurance. It is a misdemeanor in many states with fines and even jail sentences, depending on the state.
If the owner didn’t know the person didn’t have a license, the insurer would probably pay the claim if there was an accident. If someone else caused the accident, it is irrelevant that the person driving your automobile was unlicensed so you can still make a claim on the at fault driver’s insurance.
Usually, personal car insurance policies don’t permit business use. So, if the person borrowed your automobile uses it for business, you may not have coverage, again depending on the state. Some states may have a much wider personal use definition, which may include things like pizza deliveries.
There are cheaper listed drivers only auto insurance policies, which only cover listed names and nobody else. This is clearly stated in the declaration page of the policy documents. Also, policies may come with age restrictions and other limitations. Motorists are advised to check that they have a standard policy with permissive use inclusion.
Yes, vehicle insurance includes other drivers under normal circumstances with a standard policy, providing the owner permits it. Nevertheless, the carrier or you can exclude someone in exchange for a cheaper premium. You should always check special clauses. Finally, if you have already agreed to special terms and excluded some people you should make sure that you meet these conditions. Otherwise, you can face serious troubles as claims can be denied when they cause an accident with the auto.