When you drive another person’s car, the car owner’s insurance policy should cover you, assuming you use the car with the permission of the owner. However, if you fall into an accident and the damage exceeds the amount specified in the owner’s civil liability, you can be suspended for a significant amount of money. Are you insured to drive any car?
It used to be that most insurance drivers took advantage of other drivers’ insurance for comprehensive car insurance policies. This usually provided third party insurance coverage for driving cars not listed in the policy. However, more and more often many comprehensive policies do not offer this benefit without profit. You will often have to ask for it and pay extra for it.
Check your car insurance
This is an obvious starting point. First check the details of your car insurance policy to see if you are covered by someone else’s car insurance. If this is not clear in the policy, contact the insurer to ask. If in doubt, you can safely assume that you are not, and you should make other arrangements.
How can I get insurance for driving another car?
You can get protection for driving someone else’s car by applying for short-term insurance or by adding your name to the car owner’s policy. If you need to drive another person’s car from time to time – say it’s a car from another family member – then it might be a good idea to add your name to your policy. This will provide the same level of protection as the main driver. The main policy driver must be the person who drives the car most of the time – as a named driver you should only use the car from time to time. Watch out for “fronting”. This usually happens when a more experienced driver insures the car in his name, but the younger driver actually uses the car most often. This is to reduce the premium of the young driver. Fronting is illegal and may cancel your car insurance policy.
Also keep in mind that if you are added as a driver with a specific name, you will usually not be able to accumulate a no claims bonus under this policy (you can still build a no claims bonus if you have your own car and “reinsured as the main driver”). Some insurers may allow this provided that you buy your own policy with them in the future, so consult your service provider.
What is short-term insurance?
A short-term or temporary car insurance policy provides coverage from one day to 28 days. This is a good solution if you have to borrow someone’s car for a few days, or maybe your son or daughter is returning from university on vacation and needs to use a family car.