Yes, an uninsured driver can drive your car if the uninsured driver is given permission to use the vehicle and the car’s insurance policy does not forbid such activity. If the uninsured driver crashes the insured car, your standard policy limits will usually apply. You and the uninsured driver will be responsible for any damages beyond your policy limits.
The details of car insurance policies vary, but most insurers cover occasional use by a non-listed driver as long as the owner allows it and the driver has a valid license. This is referred to as “permissive use.”
A thief taking your car for a joyride is not permissive use, however. You should always file a police report if your car is stolen because it proves that it was not permissive use, meaning you are not responsible for any damage.
Some car insurance policies, especially those for high-risk drivers, have “named-driver exclusions.” This type of insurance policy only covers drivers who are explicitly listed on the policy. Another variation is a “step-down policy,” which has reduced coverage limits and types of coverage when a driver who is not listed on the policy uses the car.
Car insurance companies generally require every driver in the policyholder’s household to be listed as a named driver, with the exception of roommates in some cases. Specific individuals can be excluded, but if an excluded driver crashes the car, the insurance company will deny the claim.
Regular drivers who are not family members should also be listed on a car insurance policy. For instance, if a caregiver or a live-in nanny uses your car several days a week, you should communicate with your insurance company to ensure they are covered.
Finally, for drivers who do not have their own vehicle but borrow cars frequently, a non-owner policy is a smart investment. With a non-owner policy, drivers do not have to rely on a vehicle’s insurance coverage. For more information, check out WalletHub’s tips for finding cheap non-owner insurance.
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