Does Automobile Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?

Insurance policies are complicated! If you feel like you don’t know much more other than you legally need it to drive, you are not alone. Yet, now is the time to have your questions answered and come to a better understanding of what is in your Texas car insurance policy, what coverage you have, and what your policy doesn’t help you with. If you wait until after an accident or claim of some kind to learn the answers, you may just find you don’t like what you discover. 

One of the biggest sources of confusion regarding car insurance is whether the insurance “follows” the driver or the car. If you are driving your mom’s car and get into an accident, does your insurance cover it? If you let your best friend drive your vehicle to the corner store and they hit someone, who’s car insurance policy pays for the damage? No wonder this question is one that is so commonly asked! 

The answer to whether insurance follows the car or driver depends on many variables, most notably the kind of Odessa,TX auto insurance coverage you have in the first place. To put it plainly, car insurance is complicated! There are choices in coverage that follow the car and some that follow the driver. In general, auto insurance follows the car instead of the driver, but the specifics of a claim can differ since insurance laws and coverage vary depending on the policy you have selected.

Liability insurance is the only insurance that is legally required in Texas. This portion of insurance covers the costs associated with injuries, death, or property damage caused by you. It follows the driver no matter whose vehicle is being operated, provided it is an eligible vehicle. This means if you’re driving your mom’s car and rear-end the vehicle in front of you at a stoplight, the damage to their bumper is covered. But, we haven’t yet got to the damage on your mom’s vehicle. Next, we need to get into a collision and comprehensive car insurance to get a complete answer. These auto insurance coverage options are tied to the insured vehicle, which means they follow the car. These coverages pay for damage that befalls the insured vehicle as a result of an accident or vandalism, no matter who is driving. One way to think of it is that if you loan your vehicle, you also loan your car insurance. Comprehensive insurance covers almost everything, which means it is the car rather than the driver that is really being covered. This, however, requires many stipulations to be put in place, such as who is allowed to drive the car. 

But wait- we’re not done yet! If someone other than the insured person is driving a vehicle covered by comprehensive coverage and is not listed as a covered driver, the other person might not be covered in an accident. Family members, such as your teenager or your spouse, are generally already included in the policy definition of “insured.” Yet your best friend probably isn’t covered, even if they had your permission to take the car. The answer to this specific case really comes down to the details in your policy. 

As you can see, it is complicated. And this doesn’t even answer every situation! What if the person driving your car didn’t have permission? What if another person is driving your car when it is stolen? You need an answer specific to you and your situation, so it’s much easier to simply reach out to Pronto Insurance personally and ask!