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Does auto insurance cover the car or the driver?

January 29, 2015

When seeking out auto insurance quotes, it is important to know what you are looking for, especially if this is your first go at owning a car. You might assume that auto insurance is pretty standard across the board. However, that is not the case. There are all sorts of different auto insurance coverage for various purposes.

Make sure you and your car are covered properly.

So when you take your new ride for a spin and your friend wants to get behind the wheel, you better make sure your policy covers the driver as well as the vehicle.

Different types of insurance

When you are considering insurance options, you want to take your driving habits and situation into account. Whether you have a family, are using the car for work or simply have friends in the vehicle often, these are all factors that play a role in deciding which coverage is right for you. And knowing the various insurance types is important because it will help prevent problems later on should something go wrong.

  • Comprehensive and collision: This type of coverage follows the car, rather than the driver. However, this doesn't mean that any driver is allowed to drive the car under the policy. While you may tailor your policy so that many drivers can be behind the wheel, it is typically so that only family members are insured to use the vehicle. If your friend is driving your car and is not covered on the plan, then an accident can be costly. It is also not the case that all insurance companies will allow you to simply add a bunch of of people to be covered under this type of insurance policy. But if an insurer does allow you to have additional names on the policy, there is a good chance your plan will be more expensive.
  • Liability:  The type of coverage follows the driver, regardless of the vehicle. Most states require liability coverage. Similarly, if your friend has liability insurance and wants to borrow your car that is no problem. When looking for a quote, it is important to pay attention to exclusions, or those items that the policy doesn't cover. For instance, you might find that though you select a plan that allows your to drive just about any vehicle, it doesn't cover rental cars or replacement vehicles should something happen to yours. There are also commercial vehicles or vehicles that are not considered “private passenger vehicles" that might not fall under a policy.

There are other types of auto insurance coverage as well, but these two are the basics. If you often have other people using your car, or you use other cars, it is important to make sure you know the specifics of the plan you are looking into. When it comes to selecting auto insurance, there is a great deal of information out there, and some policies can get pretty specific. Do your research and request several auto insurance quotes before making your decision. You want coverage for not only yourself and your vehicle, but also your friends and relatives that would use your car as well.