Adding a Friend to Your Car Insurance Policy - Weighing the Pros and Cons
Since the auto insurance industry operates on a model of assumed risk, your carrier is going to want to know who is driving your car. In fact, most companies want you to provide them with a listing of all the people that might drive your car at some point. That way they can assess how much of a risk those people are. Since having some kind of car insurance coverage is mandatory in most states, you will likely be supplying your own list of people that will be driving your car to your insurance company. For most people this will be a small list of family members, but you may have a need to add a friend to the policy at some point.
When do you add a friend to the auto insurance policy?
If you should find yourself lending your car to a friend or maybe letting an acquaintance drive your car on a trip, you need to let your insurance company know about these occurrences, before they happen. You probably gave your insurance company an account of family members when you first got your policy and that is a good thing. Keep your carrier up to date on anyone new that will be driving your car. Don't be tempted to skip this step, and then just let your friends drive your car. This could get you into a lot of trouble.
What if I don't add my friend to the insurance policy?
The person that you let drive your car could wind up in an accident. Your car insurance company knows this and they don't want it to happen. That is why they may try to dissuade you from allowing anyone not regularly covered on your policy to drive your car. Even if the person driving your car got into an accident that wasn't their fault it may be impossible to get a claim honored for that situation. A good rule of thumb is to let your insurance company know, beforehand, about anyone that will be driving your car.
How does not adding my friend affect claims?
It is usually big trouble to let someone drive your car that is not covered by your insurance, period. Every claim is investigated and if you file a claim and it is discovered that someone other than you was doing the driving when an accident occurs, you may find yourself without any coverage at all. Your insurance company is not required in any way to cover someone that you let operate your vehicle without notifying them beforehand. You will have security and peace of mind by telling your insurance company about any drivers of your vehicle before you let them drive. If the worst case scenario happens and your friend gets into an accident you will be able to file a legitimate claim and know that all the bases are covered.