Insurance for borrowed cars

Wondering if you're insured when you borrow a car or lend yours to someone? Generally, both the borrower's insurance and the vehicle owner's insurance may apply in the event of an accident, but whose insurance applies and to what degree will vary based on the details of the accident and the language of each person's insurance policy. Take our quick quiz to see if and how you're covered when you're borrowing or lending out a vehicle.

Let's get started!

What happens when you let someone else drive your car?

If you allow someone else to borrow your car, it's still covered by your insurance policy. Insurers call this "permissive use." This is true even when the driver carries their own insurance. However, both your insurance policy and the driver's insurance may apply in the event of an accident. Whose insurance pays out, and in what amount, will vary based on the language of both policies and the details of the accident.

Pro tip:

If the driver frequently uses your car or lives in your household, your insurer may determine that they should've been added to your policy as a driver. In that case, it may be sufficient cause for your insurance company to deny your claim.

Can I borrow someone's car without insurance?

Uninsured drivers may be covered if they're borrowing an insured car with permission from the owner. The vehicle owner's insurance can cover damages based on the policy's coverages and limits. If the policy doesn't cover some of the damage or the damage exceeds policy limits, the driver could be held personally liable to cover any additional damages related to the accident.

Pro tip:

If you are uninsured but plan to borrow a car, you may want to consider investing in a non-owner insurance policy. This type of policy typically provides liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage, but it doesn't cover physical damage to the vehicle you're driving or any injuries you may suffer in an accident.

If someone borrows my car and gets in an accident, am I liable?

In most cases, your insurance can cover the accident, but depending on your policy limits and the details of the accident, the driver's insurance policy may cover all or part of the claim. There are certain situations where your insurance policy may not cover an accident after someone borrows your car and gets into an accident, including:

  • The driver borrows your car without permission: This is known as "non-permissive use." In this case, the driver's insurance may be responsible for covering the costs of damages resulting from an accident. If the driver is uninsured, they may be personally liable for the costs.
  • Another driver causes the accident: If the driver of your car isn't found at fault for the accident, the at-fault driver's insurance would be responsible for the damages.

Want to learn more? Take this quiz to find out when you're covered as a driver of a borrowed vehicle and when your car insurance policy covers others who borrow your car.

Was this article helpful?
Winner! Glad you enjoyed it.
Still have questions? Contact us for answers.

Please note: The above is meant as general information to help you understand the different aspects of insurance. Read our editorial standards for Answers content. This information is not an insurance policy, does not refer to any specific insurance policy, and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions expressly stated in any insurance policy. Descriptions of all coverages and other features are necessarily brief; in order to fully understand the coverages and other features of a specific insurance policy, we encourage you to read the applicable policy and/or speak to an insurance representative. Coverages and other features vary between insurers, vary by state, and are not available in all states. Whether an accident or other loss is covered is subject to the terms and conditions of the actual insurance policy or policies involved in the claim. References to average or typical premiums, amounts of losses, deductibles, costs of coverages/repair, etc., are illustrative and may not apply to your situation. We are not responsible for the content of any third-party sites linked from this page.

  1. Answers
  2. Insurance for borrowed cars


Copyright 1995 - 2022. Progressive Casualty Insurance Company. All Rights Reserved.

We offer insurance by phone, online and through independent agents. Prices vary based on how you buy.

Insurance carrier website ranking by Keynova Group – Q2 2022 Online Insurance Scorecard.