Does Auto Insurance Follow The Car Or The Driver?

Does personal auto insurance follow the car or the driver? In most cases, car insurance follows the vehicle and not the driver, but certain auto insurance policies will cover both the car and the driver. In most cases, liability auto insurance follows the driver while comprehensive and collision coverage follows the vehicle. If you're ready to compare comprehensive car insurance quotes, enter your ZIP code below.

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Rachel Bodine graduated from college with a BA in English. She has since worked as a Feature Writer in the insurance industry and gained a deep knowledge of state and countrywide insurance laws and rates. Her research and writing focus on helping readers understand their insurance coverage and how to find savings. Her expert advice on insurance has been featured on sites like PhotoEnforced, All...

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Written by Rachel Bodine
Insurance Feature Writer Rachel Bodine

Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insurance...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years Leslie Kasperowicz

UPDATED: Mar 11, 2022

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Car insurance can be a very confusing topic. Most people do not fully understand what exactly their auto insurance policy covers if they are involved in an accident. The question of whether the car insurance policy covers the car or the driver of the car is one that comes with many variables. There are some policies that cover both the car and the driver. However, generally speaking the car insurance policy actually follows the vehicle and not the driver. The specifics of each claim that is made differ because coverage and insurance laws vary by state and policy.

Here is a bit of information about the different types of car insurance policies that are available and what they entail.

Liability Coverage

A liability insurance policy will follow the driver no matter what vehicle that they are driving as long as the vehicle is eligible under the policy. This type of auto insurance policy is protection for the driver. In most cases if the insured person is driving a vehicle that is owned by someone else they will be covered.

When looking for this type of coverage it is best to look at the exclusions that are listed. Insured vehicles may include ones that are owned by a friend or family member or a rental car. Most “replacement” vehicles are covered under a liability policy, but only in a situation where the person’s vehicle cannot be driven due to some reason such as it being repaired. It is always a good idea to check your insurance policy to make sure that you will be covered if you are driving a vehicle other than the one listed on your policy.

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Comprehensive Insurance and Collision Insurance

This type of car insurance policy follows the vehicle. Comprehensive and collision insurance will pay for the damage of the vehicle if involved in an accident or if the car is vandalized. Comprehensive car insurance policies cover almost everything that happens involving a vehicle. With this type of policy it is the vehicle that is covered and not the driver.

It is important to note that a comprehensive or collision insurance policy has several stipulations before coverage occurs. One of the stipulations is who is driving the vehicle when the incident occurs. If a person other than the insured is driving the vehicle at the time of an accident and they are not listed as being covered, the damage might not be covered. Typically family members are included in the definition of insured by the company.

When you allow someone else to drive your vehicle the question of whether the driver or the vehicle is insured becomes more of a question. The relevant question in this situation is whether the driver will be covered while they are driving the vehicle.

There is really not a straight answer to this question as it will depend greatly on the specific policy that the person holds for their vehicle. In most cases allowing someone to drive your vehicle will be covered under the liability portion of the policy. However, there are many exceptions to this rule.

There are some insurance companies that will not cover any driver that is not named on the insurance policy. Some of the other issues that may come up are whether the driver is related to the insured and where they live. Generally speaking, if a person lives with you and drives your vehicle regularly the insurance company expects them to be on the insurance policy. However, if a family member is just visiting and uses your vehicle they may be covered, but it could be limited. The best thing to do is contact your auto insurance company and discuss whether or not a person would be covered if they are driving your vehicle.

Bodily Injury

The other type of insurance that typically follows the driver is bodily injury and medical insurance. These types of policies will typically pay for any medical bills for injuries sustained in an accident. This type of insurance is based on people and will typically follow the driver.

The question still remains as to whether your car insurance follows the car or follows the driver. As you can see it really depends on the type of insurance that you have. There is really no correct answer to the question because each insurance company has different regulations and rules regarding the policies that they issue.

Typically, an insurance policy that follows the driver is going to be limited to a type of liability policy. These policies provide coverage for the person that holds them no matter what type or who’s vehicle that they are driving as long as certain qualifications have been met. Medical insurance policies are also in place for the driver as these cover any medical expenses that are a direct result of an accident.

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