Can I drive my friend's car?

Does my insurance let me drive my friend's car?

Under the wordings of the Standard Automobile Policy (SPF 1) if you have a private passenger automobile or station wagon-type vehicle policy then yes, you can driver other vehicles.

As with all things in insurance there is no "absolute" answer but normally for a personal use vehicle you can drive another person's vehicle with an extension of liability if your insurance on your own private passenger vehicle is in force and you have an appropriate driver's license. The restrictions of your licensing will always apply to any vehicle you operate whether you own it or not. So if you have a graduated license with limited use then this applies to any and all vehicles you operate.

Should you drive other people's vehicles? If you do then you are using that person's insurance as first response to any claims. If you have an accident and it is a major claim with serious injuries or a fatality then your friend's insurance may not be enough to cover the total costs. Then your insurance would step in to pick up the difference. So the insurance that is on the vehicle that is being driven is first payment made.

An example of this is when you rent a vehicle. The car rental company has underlying insurance for liability. Your policy would only step in if needed. This is liability only. The physical damage for Collision, Comprehensive or Specified Perils has to be purchased through the car rental company or you must have a specific endorsement for this on your personal automobile policy.

If I don't have my own insurance policy because I don't own a car, then can I drive my friend's car? Yes, you can. Now your friend only has the resources of his own policy to fall back on even if it is a major claim. If the payout on the claim exceeded his insurance then both you and him would be named in a civil court case to collect the balance. Whoever has the money will pay. If neither of your have money then you could be facing a wage garnishee that will haunt you until the debt is resolved.

What happens when the claims have been paid out? The claim will follow you as the driver. It still can affect your friend's insurance rates. It all depends on the insurance company and the underwriting rules that the company will use. One company can only rate one of you, another company will rate both.

Talk to your insurance agent or broker. Consider the SEF 27 endorsement as part of your personal insurance coverage. Take control of your insurance. If you have questions that are not fully answered or you need more help with your insurance then contact us here at TurnersTips. Just Ask.