Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers Insurance CSR 4 Years

UPDATED: Feb 8, 2019

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Nearly every state in the U.S. requires drivers to have auto insurance coverage
  • There is no straight and clear answer as to if your insurance will cover you driving an uninsured car
  • The answer depends on your car insurance company, what policies you have, and the circumstances
  • You should check your car insurance policy declarations and contract or call your car insurance company to find out for sure

You work hard for your money and when you use it to pay for your auto insurance, you want it to give you the most bang for your buck. This leaves many people wondering if their car insurance follows and covers them if they are driving an uninsured car.

While the answer isn’t quite as straightforward as answers are to other car insurance questions, you can save money on auto insurance by using a car insurance rate comparison tool online. These types of tools are fast and simple to use and have the potential to save you hundreds of dollars each year on car insurance premiums. Compare car insurance rates now by using our FREE tool above!

Compulsory Auto Insurance

In nearly every state in the U.S., car insurance is a legal requirement. Before discussing any car insurance topic, drivers need to realize that there are major consequences for driving without insurance. These consequences can include any or all of the following:

  • Driver’s license suspension
  • Fines, up to $1000
  • Imprisonment
  • Suspension of car registration
  • Legally required community service
  • Vehicle impoundment
  • Fees to reinstate your driver’s license and car registration
  • Mandated need for SR 22 insurance which is more expensive and harder to get than regular insurance

Not only is car insurance a legal requirement, it also protects all motorists on the road against financial ruin. Without car insurance, you could be left holding thousands upon thousands of dollars in bills from property damage and injuries directly related to a car accident.

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Your Car Insurance and Driving an Uninsured Vehicle

If you are wondering if your own car insurance will cover you driving an uninsured vehicle, there is not clear cut answer. This is a popular car insurance question, yet there are many variables to its answer. When it comes to a car insurance policy, there can be many different types of coverage within each policy.

Some types of coverage will follow the driver and some types only go so far as the insured vehicle.

However, insurance laws can vary from one state to the next, further making this a difficult question to answer. In general, it should be assumed that the insurance follows the car only.

Liability Coverage

With the exception of New Hampshire, all states legally require liability coverage. This type of coverage will generally follow the driver no matter what vehicle they are operating. Liability protects the insured driver when he or she operates a car that is owned by another party. However, to fully answer this question for your own policy, you will need to do some research into the exclusions of your policy.

Upon further review, you may find that if your own car was available for you to use, your liability may not cover you driving a rental car or a friend’s car. There is no longer a standard type of auto policy that is the same for every driver, so it is best for every driver to check their own policy and exclusions.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

On the other hand, comprehensive and collision coverages don’t follow the driver, they follow the vehicle. These policy types pay for damages if the car is damaged in an accident, vandalized, or in a fire or natural disaster.

They are not legally required though they are generally required by your bank or leasing company if you owe on your vehicle or are leasing.

Again, drivers should check their insurance policy as there may be exclusions. Although these coverages follow the vehicle and not the driver, they may or may not cover damages if another driver not listed on the policy is driving the vehicle at the time of an accident. Spouses and family are generally covered within the policy of the insured.

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Other Drivers Driving Your Vehicle

In the case of another driver driving your car, the question is not whether insurance follows the car or the driver, but if your auto insurance will cover other drivers of your vehicle. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer to this question. It depends on your policy and the wording of your documents, where you live, and the circumstances.

In general, if you give someone permission to drive your car, they will be covered under the liability policy on your insurance.

It is important to remember, however, that there are exceptions to this. With some insurance companies, family members who have permission to drive the insured’s vehicle will be covered under the insurance policy of the vehicle.

However, the coverage might be limited. If there are different policy limits between the permissive driver’s own policy and the policy that follows the car, things could get complicated in the event of an accident. One may be used as a primary insurance and the other as a secondary, depending on the circumstances and who was at fault.

The Insured Driving Another Vehicle not Insured on Their Own Policy

Generally speaking, in most cases the coverage that a driver carries on his or her own vehicle will follow them when driving another vehicle that belongs to another party. This also includes the medical portions of their own policy as well as any uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage that the driver carries.

Depending upon the policy language and restrictions, coverage for property damage may also carry over when the driver is driving another vehicle that is not on his or her policy. Car insurance companies will also take into account the following when deciding what they will cover for another vehicle:

  • The reasons for driving the vehicle
  • If the insured driver had permission or not
  • If the car was a rental or dealership loaner vehicle

What if the Insured Driver is from Out of State?

The aforementioned information still applies. Being from out of state should not preclude insurance that follows the driver from being used. However, other stipulations may apply in accordance with the auto insurance policy of the driver. Drivers should always check their policies to find out the specifics of their coverage.

If you will need to drive a rental car, loaner car, or someone else’s car and you know beforehand, it is best to call your auto insurance company and find out what you coverage would be, especially if the other vehicle does not have insurance coverage.

If you are not happy with your auto insurance policy or the premiums you are paying, consider using an online insurance price comparison calculator. One of these calculators could be the key to better coverage at a better price. Enter your zip code in our FREE tool below to compare car insurance rates now!