Tag Archives: permissive driver

car keys 3Most of us have lent our cars to friends and/or family members at one time or another. Whether they needed to go to the store, were visiting from out of town, or had their own car in the shop, our mobile castle was theirs for the borrowing. But did you give any thought to whether or not they were insured – their own policy or yours?

Most auto policies allow for permissive drivers, that is, drivers operating your vehicle with your permission. Often, their own auto policies will follow them while driving another vehicle. However, your coverage would be considered primary. Their insurance may cover some medical expenses and possibly supplement if your limits are maxed out.

What you need to watch out for are people driving your vehicle who should be on your policy. For example, your sister is visiting for a week or so from out of town. She will likely be covered. However, if that same sister is moving here and staying at your place until she finds a job, which is a different story, especially if she is using your vehicle to go on job interviews. If your assistant uses your car to run errands for you, he/she needs to be on your policy.

If you have teenage drivers living in your home, you are sometimes forced to add them to your policy. Otherwise, they will be specifically excluded from driving any of your vehicles.

Just something to keep in mind: California Vehicle Code Section 1715 states: “Every owner of a motor vehicle is liable and responsible for death or injury to person or property resulting from a negligent or wrongful act or omission in the operation of the motor vehicle, in the business of the owner or otherwise, by any person using or operating the same with the permission, express or implied, of the owner.”

Before you turn over the keys to your car, check with your insurance professional to see if your auto policy covers permissive drivers. More importantly, how much it will cover someone borrowing your car.

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A good way of looking at your teenager receiving their driver’s license is less chauffeuring you’ll need to do. There can be little doubt that your eager new driver will be happy to take the family sedan out on whatever errand you need them to run. Plus, they will say, you don’t have to be bothered with dropping them off or picking them up. Great news for you, right? Of course, the cost for all this freedom – besides extra trips to the gas station – is an adjustment on your auto insurance policy.

Nearly all insurance companies require that all members of your household that are licensed drivers be added to your auto policy. If you have several vehicles, you can add drivers to individual vehicles, ideally those that are the least expensive to insure. You can also exclude drivers, but that means they are specifically not covered for anything that happens while driving your vehicle. This could also be cause for cancellation should something occur.

As far as your teen drivers go, you’ll want to let your insurance professional know when he or she gets their learner’s permit. They won’t necessarily need to be listed on your policy until they are fully licensed. If you do not have primary custody of your teen, you may not need to add them as a household driver. You should check with your insurance professional to be sure.

Another option is for your teen driver to have their own vehicle. Just bear in mind that premiums for teen drivers are high as it is. Insuring a separate vehicle may cost more than adding the vehicle (and driver) to your policy. Also check to see what sort of discounts (good student, driver’s education, etc.) there may be available.

There are systems available for monitoring driving behaviors — speeding, seat belt usage, hard braking and cornering – that can send you a notification if your teen does something he or she is not supposed to do. Technology is available that blocks cell phone calls and text messages when a vehicle is in motion. Installation of any of these systems could mean a premium reduction.

There is no substitution for discussing this new policy need, as well as any others, with your insurance professional. They are an excellent resource for all things insurance-related and can help you to find the coverages you need at a price you can afford.