Your babysitter uses your car to drive your kids to the swimming pool. Your brother-in-law borrows your car for the weekend. You've given them your permission—but what happens if there's a crash when someone else drives your car?
"Generally it's not a problem if they're driving with your consent," says Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president of Public Affairs and consumer spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute. "If it's an occasional use—say I borrow your car to go pick up milk—and as long as permission has been verbally granted, you'll typically be covered."
But borrowing a car under other circumstances may not be as clear-cut. It depends on your insurer and your particular policy.
Typically, even if the person driving your car has his or her own insurance, your insurance will likely pay damages first if there's a crash. The driver's insurance may cover some of the personal injury or medical expenses, and it may supplement your plan if the crash maxes out your policy.
"When you have someone your employ, such as a nanny or a nurse who will be a regular driver, contact your insurance agent about your policy," Salvatore recommends. "He or she may need to be added to it."
Because the policy terms and state laws can vary widely, always contact your insurance agent before loaning out your car—or any other motor vehicle, such as a motorcycle, boat, personal watercraft, snowmobile, ATV, or RV.
"Any time you have a question about your policy, call your insurance agent first," says Salvatore. "You always want to let the insurance company know the circumstances. Get their advice."
As with anything else, use good judgment and common sense. "Don't be cavalier about lending your car," adds Salvatore. "If you know someone isn't a good driver, think twice about giving your permission. Any crash they're in could go on your insurance record."
The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm®. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under our policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.