Who is Covered When You Buy Auto Insurance?
All the coverages in your auto policy apply when you are driving, but they also apply when other people are driving your vehicle. The coverages are actually for the car, not the person.
* Note. If someone is going to be a regular user of your car, that person’s name needs to be added to the policy.
Your insurance company wants to know who’s going to be using the car. After all, you could be a great driver with no tickets or accidents, but your spouse, your teenage child, or your reckless cousin could be a lousy driver.
If you let these people drive your car without telling your insurer and these people keep getting in accidents, your insurance company isn’t going to be happy. In fact, they may cancel your policy.
* Tip. It’s not wise to risk losing your policy by failing to disclose who’s driving the insured vehicle. Keep in mind, however, that if you add drivers with lousy records or who haven’t had much driving experience, your premiums will go up.
Any parent of a driving teenager can tell you this; teenagers are notorious for getting tickets and having accidents. They are also very inexperienced drivers. As such, when your child gets his or her license, your insurance premiums will go up when he or she is added to the policy.
If you buy all six of the major auto insurance coverages, your policy will cover you in most instances in which you cause damage or injury to your car, yourself and your passengers, or drivers and passengers in other vehicles.
But not all.
* Note. The standard auto insurance policy has some “exclusions,” which is insurance-ese for, “We won’t cover that.” Here are some examples where your auto policy won’t provide coverage:
- If you intentionally try to cause damage to your car or another vehicle. This includes liability coverage.
- If you are using the vehicle to transport other people for a fee. (This does not apply to car pools where the expenses are shared.)
- If you are using the vehicle for certain business activities. This does not include traveling to see clients or taking a standard business trip.
- If your vehicle sustains damage caused by normal wear and tear, freezing, mechanical or electrical breakdown, or road damage to tires.
- If your car is damaged because of radioactive contamination, intentional or accidental discharge of nuclear weapons, war, insurrection, rebellion or revolution.