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Other drivers’ coverage can vary.

When you allow somebody to use your vehicle, the issue arises as to whether that driver is covered by your automobile insurance. The general rule is that use with your permission is covered, but every general rule has its exceptions.

Named driver

Some auto insurance policies cover only the person specifically designated as the insured person. Anybody else that might drive that vehicle won’t be covered. Check to see if there are provisions for additional insured people on your policy.

Where does the permitted use driver live?

If the driver resides in your household and is a blood relative, the insurer is likely to take a closer look into their use of the vehicle. If a family member is living in your household and regularly uses a vehicle with your permission, the insurer will probably require them to be named on your policy as an additional insured. They’re required to undergo the same background and driving history investigation as any other insured person would have to submit to. A family member who is visiting and has established a residence in another state is probably in a better coverage position as a permitted user. Remember though, that a person can have several residences, but only one domicile.

The business purpose

Although your permissive user might be insured while using your vehicle for personal use, he or she won’t be covered if they’re in an accident while using your vehicle for a business purpose unless you have specific business use coverage. Business use is a common exclusion in the auto insurance industry.

Other exclusions

Never let somebody use your car who has been drinking, and make sure that anybody using it has a valid driver’s license. Drunks and unlicensed drivers are excluded from coverage under most policies.

Non-permissive use

In the case of theft, it’s unlikely that you’d be held liable for injury or damage to others in an accident. If you have appropriate coverage, you’ll probably be able to get your vehicle repaired or replaced. Finer lines are drawn if a friend or family member takes your vehicle without your permission.

If somebody has your permission to use your vehicle, it’s likely that they’re covered if they’re in an accident. That’s not always the case though. Check your policy, and if you still have questions, you can contact us anytime for answers about your policy.