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Will My Insurance Cover Me If I Drive Someone Else’s Car in California?

Every vehicle in California is required to be covered by insurance. Insurance is there to pay for damages and injuries if a car is involved in an accident, and it is against the law for any vehicle to be on the road without insurance. Drivers tend to borrow cars from each other, which means the question of whose insurance covers what comes up often. If you borrow cars often, you may ask, “Will my insurance cover me if I drive someone else’s car in California”.

Does Your Insurance Cover You If You Drive Someone Else’s Car in California?

No, it does not. Many people are perplexed to hear that because it implies they are left without coverage unless they always drive their vehicles. This is not the case. Let us explain.

Insurance in California follows the vehicle, not the driver. This means you will be covered by the same insurance that covers the car if you drive a friend’s car in California. The insurance company will cover everything they typically do when the owner is behind the wheel.

However, there are a few exceptions you should know about before driving someone else’s car or getting into an accident that necessitates a visit to the hospital and a call to a vehicle accident lawyer.

When Can an Insurance Company Refuse to Give You Coverage?

While people expect insurance companies to pay every policy, they cannot do that because they are in business and need to make money. This is one of the reasons they have additional policies besides the main policies. These are the exceptions for when they cannot provide coverage.

The first situation where they will deny coverage if you get into an accident when driving another person’s car is if you are not the permissive driver. In California, the permissive driver needs explicit permission from the owner to drive their car.

It happens a lot with families where someone takes a loved one’s car and gets into an accident. In that situation, they are not the car’s owner and not the permissive driver, so insurance will deny coverage.

The second situation is if you are explicitly excluded from the policy. This applies regardless of whether you are the permissive driver or not.

The third situation is if you do not have a driver’s license. Insurance companies require that all vehicle owners do their due diligence before handing out the cars to their cars. They should know whether the driver has a driver’s license and whether they are authorized to drive.

The third is if you get into an accident when breaking the law. For example, someone might get into an accident because they were speeding or driving under the influence. The insurance company will deny coverage in that situation because the driver put himself and others in danger, and they cannot be seen to encourage that behavior by covering accidents that occur in those situations.

The best thing you can do if an insurance provider denies your claim if you were not breaking the law at the time of the accident is to contact a car accident lawyer Bakersfield CA. They will help you explain how the accident happened and establish liability so the other party’s insurance provider pays for your injuries and the resulting damages.

Driving without Car Insurance

California law says you need insurance or proof of financial responsibility to drive in the state. You and the vehicle’s owner both need insurance to drive legally even if the insurance follows the vehicle and your insurance will not cover you when you get into an accident when driving someone else’s car.

Another important thing to understand is that any tickets you get will apply to your record and not the vehicle owner. For example, you will have to pay for any speeding fines or other fines and tickets.

The Ramifications of Insurance Claims

When you get into an accident, you are covered by the vehicle’s insurance. You can also file a personal injury claim with the help of a car accident attorney Bakersfield CA to recover damages if the accident is due to another person’s negligence or actions.

Even if you are the one who will benefit from the settlement or award, the vehicle’s owner will have to deal with higher insurance premiums after making the claim. The reason is that insurance companies see you as a liability and high-risk policyholder if you let people who get into accidents drive your vehicle.

What If You Drive a Family Member’s Vehicle?

Many people assume they are covered if they live with the policyholder or are their relative. This is false. You are not covered unless you are listed on their insurance policy.

Another way to get coverage is if they make you a permissive driver. You will have to pursue a personal injury claim with the help of the best car accident attorneys to recover damages if you are not covered.

Also, only household members with legal driving licenses and those listed on the insurance policy can make an insurance claim. This means you will have to call the vehicle owner to do it and pursue damages on your own through a road accident lawyer.

Getting a Non-owner Car Insurance

If you do not own a vehicle but borrow cars regularly, you can get non-owner car insurance. It will provide you with the same coverage as you would get from your vehicle’s insurance but will be under your control and come with the same ramifications of getting into an accident as having typical car insurance does.

Dealing with the aftermath of a car accident is already challenging enough, but things get even more confusing if you get into one when driving a vehicle owned by someone else. While you will be covered by their car insurance, there are exceptions you should know about to ensure you do not get into a difficult situation if this happens. You can still pursue personal injury claims against the responsible party, though; you just need to contact a road accident attorney from our firm so we can assist you with this. Contact Karns & Karns Personal Injury and Accident Attorneys today to see where you stand.