Does Your Car Insurance Cover You in Another Car?

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Andrew Lee is insurance content writer and editor for Andrew holds a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University and has extensive experience of writing content for financial websites. His expertise is especially strong in home and auto insurance.

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You don’t plan on having an accident, no one does, especially when you’re driving someone else’s car. In the unfortunate event you are involved in a car accident in someone else’s vehicle, it can take the insurance companies a while to sort things out. Here’s what you need to know about car insurance coverage while you’re traveling in someone else’s.

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Does Your Car Insurance Cover You in Another Car?

Yes, your car insurance policy covers you if you’re involved in an accident in a car that does not belong to you. In addition to someone else’s coverage, your auto insurance policy will still be active but will take a back seat to the owner of the car’s insurance policy. The bottom line is, regardless of who drives the car, the car is insured, so anyone who drives the car is insured while they’re driving it. 

What Is Secondary Policy Coverage?

Every driver, regardless of the state you live in, is required to have an active auto insurance policy. As the owner of an active auto insurance policy, you have secondary coverage, which provides protection for you should you get into any accidents while you’re driving a car you don’t own. The policy of the car you’re driving is the primary insurer and your auto insurance policy is the secondary policy to cover any remaining fees once the primary insurance exceeds its limits.

Special Circumstances

The owner of the auto policy has coverage that only extends so far, which is the casual use of the car by individuals who are not listed on the policy. If you’re using someone else’s car frequently, such as twice a week or more, it’s best for you to be listed on the policy as a driver.

Purchasing a Non-Owner Policy

A nonowner insurance policy is for drivers who do not have an active insurance policy and want more coverage than the car owner currently offers. If you’re involved in an accident in the car, you will be held liable for the damages. You can protect yourself by purchasing a non-owner auto policy.

How Can You Reduce Your Car Insurance Rate?

Owning vs Leasing

Your auto insurance will be less expensive if you own your vehicle vs leasing it. When you own your car, comprehensive coverage is optional. When you are leasing a vehicle, comprehensive insurance is mandatory. Your auto insurance can be more than $200 with liability and collision coverage. You will have to pay for liability and collision insurance until you pay off your car.

Maintain a Superb Driving Record

If you maintain an excellent driving record, your efforts will show in your insurance premium. Even if you have a less than perfect driving record, such as a parking violation or other minor traffic incidents, you will be able to maintain a reasonable insurance rate. The more accidents you are involved in, the more insurance companies will see you as a risk to insure, and your insurance premiums will skyrocket.

Driving Experience

The longer you’ve been driving, the less expensive your auto insurance can be because insurance companies consider you to be an experienced driver. The longer you drive, the more experience you gain behind the wheel, and insurance companies are checking to see how reliable you are when you’re driving. Keep in mind your driving experience will not mean much if you’ve been involved in multiple accidents within a certain period. 

Vehicle Safety Features

The more safety features your vehicle possesses, the more discounts you can receive. Safety features, such as airbags, anti-lock brakes, GPS navigation, an alarm system, and other safety features, will help you get a variety of discounts on your insurance rate.


Your location also plays a role in your insurance premium. If you’re storing your vehicle in a location that has a high crime rate, your insurance rate will be higher. If you park your vehicle on the street instead of a covered area, such as a shed or garage, you will pay more for car insurance. You will pay more for your car insurance if you live in a major city, such as Florida, Texas, and other large cities due to the population and traffic. More people on the road increases your risk of being involved in an accident.

New Model Car vs Older Model

Although newer model cars come equipped with more bells and whistles, they are more expensive to insure than older model vehicles because of the overall value of the vehicle. Newer model vehicles will cost more to repair and replace than older model cars.

Car insurance is a must-have whether you plan on using a vehicle for or long or short period. Depending on your overall driving history, your auto insurance can save you a lot of money. Driving without car insurance results in moving violations that will increase your insurance premiums.

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