Accident Attorneys of America
Salt Lake City Car Inspection Laws

Does Car Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?

Does car insurance follow the car or the driver? The knowledgeable firm of Accident Attorneys of America offers answers to this and more. Contact us today!

When you or a loved one suffers an injury or wrongful death, you need a lawyer who knows the laws inside out and will fight for you. Our legal team will provide quality representation for your case.


Are Drivers or Cars Insured Under Car Insurance?

We regularly pay our car owner’s insurance policy and are confident that we have liability coverage in the case of an accident – both for damage to the vehicle and other people injured in the accident.

As car owners, we make regular payments on our auto insurance policy and are confident that in the event of an accident, our liability coverage will cover both damage to the vehicle and injuries to others involved.

Several questions arise when another person drives our car and gets into a car accident where they are injured, and the car is damaged. Will your car insurance typically provide collision coverage for damage to your own vehicle? Will it cover injuries to the other driver? Does this affect the insurance outcome if the person driving your car was at fault? The real question is, does car insurance follow the car or the driver? The answers to these questions are not clear-cut.

It is generally the car that is insured, not the driver. But there are so many factors to consider around law and insurance. There are coverages that can follow you and your car depending on the insurer and policy. People and vehicles are covered based on several factors, such as names on the insurance policy, state of residence, and permission to drive someone else’s vehicle.

If you are the victim of a car accident in which you believe someone was negligent, contact car accident lawyers in Salt Lake City for a free case evaluation.

The General Proposition On Car Insurance Coverage

The general rule is that the insurance coverage follows the car. Drivers of your vehicle are typically covered if they have permission to use your car or if they live in your household.

As a result, in the above example, if you permitted the other driver to use your vehicle, any damage to your car or the other driver’s car, as well as any injuries suffered by both drivers, would all be covered by your insurance policy. Consequently, your car insurance premiums are likely to be increased.

The same applies if you borrow a friend’s car and cause an accident. Most likely, your insurance company will not cover the damage but your friend’s insurance company will. Similar to the previous scenario, your friend’s insurance premiums will probably increase.

Ultimately, whether car insurance follows the car or the driver will depend on several factors, such as:

  • Drivers named in the insurance policy

  • Whether permission was granted to use the car

  • Who the insurer is and what the policy covers

  • The State

Let America’s accident attorneys help you understand your insurance policy. Request a free consultation now!

What Is Permissive Use?

When someone drives your car with your permission, they are called a permissive driver. Permissive drivers are covered by your insurance, known as the primary insurance. Any at-fault accident will be covered by your insurance since there was a permissive driver. In order to avoid gray areas, it is always a good idea to add people to your policy who you anticipate driving your car quite frequently.

As usual, there are some notable exceptions. Even when permissive use is present, your insurance policy will probably not cover accident damage caused when:

  • You lent your car to an unlicensed driver

  • You lent your car to a person who you should have listed on your policy but didn’t

  • You lent your car to someone who drives it while under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Assuming your insurance plan allows permissive use of your car. Also, assume you have liability, collision, and comprehensive coverage.

When Does Insurance Not Follow the Car?

Insurance will not follow the car when:

  • The policy expressly excludes the driver
  • The driver took the vehicle without the owner’s permission
  • There was a commercial arrangement for the use of the vehicle, such as a rented car


When Does the Insurance Policy Follow the Driver?

There are usually no black-and-white answers when it comes to car insurance. Occasionally, certain types of coverage follow the driver.

Whenever You Rent a VehicleYour auto insurance policy may extend coverage to rental cars depending on your policy. If you get in an accident, your car insurance liability coverage will pay out for any damage or injury you’re liable for, just as if you were driving your own car. You might also be covered for damage to the rental car under your collision and comprehensive coverage.

1. A Secondary Insurance Policy

Your auto insurance covers you if someone borrows your car and causes an accident, but if that person has their own insurance, that will also cover them. It is possible that your liability insurance will not cover all the damages caused by an accident, so the other driver’s insurance may cover the remainder.

So it is wise to never lend your car to someone who doesn’t have their own insurance. Uninsured drivers can cause damage to your car that exceeds your insurance coverage, so you may be responsible for the repairs.


2. Medical Payments Coverage

In many states, medical payments coverage, or med pay, covers you or your passengers for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. Medical payment coverage covers not only car accidents if you’re driving your own car but also medical bills if you’re driving a rented car or if you’re a pedestrian hit by a car.

When Would Both Insurance Companies Be Liable?

Sometimes both insurance companies would be liable. For example, if the accident damage exceeds your policy coverages, your insurance provider would cover up to the limit, after which your friend’s policy would cover the rest up to his limit. These are referred to as primary insurance policies and secondary insurance policies.

What Is the Intent Behind These Approaches?


It appears that the policy behind this approach is as follows:

  • Policies follow vehicles as often drivers don’t have insurance policies in their own names.
  • Liability car insurance policies are mandated by the state and are linked to the vehicle to ensure there is coverage where the driver is at fault and should be liable for damages.
  • Mandated Personal Injury Protection coverage from your auto insurance policy pays irrespective of who is at fault.

If you are the victim of a car accident and believe you may have a personal injury claim, experienced and capable personal injury lawyers are there to assist.

Need Help Understanding Your Insurance Policy? Call the Accident Attorneys of America

The complexity of insurance policies can be very challenging and seem almost impossible to understand. With the assistance of a truck accident lawyer, you might be able to understand what rules apply to you.

Our team of auto insurance lawyers will give you guidance on what to do after a car accident or assess your Utah auto insurance requirements. To schedule a free initial consultation, contact your personal injury attorney today.

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