So you have standard auto insurance coverage for yourself, but what about for a friend? What happens when somebody you know just wants to take a little spin? Well, it’s a tricky issue, because even though it may not always be practical to get policy additions for a one-time use, a non-owner driving the car is not insured under a typical standard auto policy.
The minimum liability that you take out on a vehicle only covers you as the owner and primary driver. You can add you spouse or your kids, but most companies will not let you keep adding drivers. Without the driver’s name on the policy, there could be issues in the case of a claim. The auto insurance company did not factor in any high risk assessment for that other driver, and they may balk at paying on a claim if someone else was behind the wheel.
One alternative for friends who frequently borrow a car is a non owner’s policy. This kind of auto policy will cover that individual as the driver, even if he or she does not own the car. Although a non owner policy can come with a surprisingly high price tag (300 to 500 dollars a year is a lot for the occasional trip), a non owner’s policy can have some good benefits. In the case of a claim, the non owner’s policy will sometimes pay secondary to the car owner’s existing insurance. That gives the driver ample coverage in some situations.
Consider the benefits of a non owner policy in a car sharing situation to make sure all parties are covered, to avoid unpleasant surprises later.