Most of us have borrowed or driven a friend’s car. Often times we jump behind the wheel without thinking about coverage, but we should. Auto policies have a variety of exclusions and conditions that limit coverage in certain circumstances. “Regular use” and “business use” are two coverage issues that you should understand.
How routinely do you use the car?
If you use a car a day here or there without any regularity, then most likely your friend’s policy will cover you. You might even use it for a few days in a row, but if you borrow it for several weeks, then you may not be covered. “Regular use” of a non-owned auto is excluded under the Mass Auto Policy as well as policies in many other states. Even if you use a car once or twice a month, if it is routine, then a legal case could possibly be made that it is “regular use”.
The auto insurance application indicates that the insured must furnish information for each individual who “customarily operates the auto(s) whether or not they are a household member”. Therefore, if you are driving a friend or family member’s vehicle with any regularity, you must be listed on their auto policy; otherwise, you could have no coverage if an accident occurs.
Why are you using the car?
If you’re using the car for business purposes, such as moving equipment or making deliveries, you need to make sure the vehicle is covered under a business or commercial policy. Personal auto policies generally don’t cover business use unless properly classified.
A simple solution.
If you are using another person’s car regularly, consider adding a Use Other Autos endorsement to your own policy. This allows your policy to cover you if you regularly drive a vehicle you don’t own. Your friend’s policy limits may not be enough to cover you even if you are a listed driver.
Call us if you have auto coverage questions about a specific situation, we’re glad to explain options.