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Can You Drive Someone Else’s Car In California Without Auto Insurance?


Can You Drive Someone Else’s Car In California Without Auto Insurance?

How Does Non-Owner Car Insurance Work in California?

There are several moments in life when you have to borrow someone else’s car, or you have to give your car to someone else. However, first, you have to be sure whether it is legally permitted to use the car of others without auto insurance or not. If you’ve been in a car accident in someone else’s car and don’t have insurance, speak to us now at (213) 596-9642 to get a free consultation and legal advice about non-owner car insurance.

Driving Someone Else’s Car Without Car Insurance

Californian law dictates that one requires proof of financial responsibility or insurance to drive a vehicle. You can not drive a vehicle in California without insurance, and you or the person you’re borrowing from must have insurance to drive legally.

Your regular auto insurance policy in Los Angeles tends to follow the car instead of the person who has paid for the insurance. The same applies to when you borrow a car. However, you need the owner’s permission before driving the vehicle.

Permissive use covers the borrower under the car owner’s insurance liability coverage. According to the coverage limits, the borrower can enjoy all the owner’s car insurance features.

However, getting caught for overspeeding will result in a ticket on your record rather than the car’s owners. But what if you’re caught in an accident in your friend’s car without auto insurance?

What If You Get into an Accident While Driving Someone Else’s Car?

Depending on the policy limit of the car’s owner, if you get into an accident, insurance companies are liable to give you coverage. Car owners can recover the damages caused to the driver (borrower) and the vehicle, including bodily injury, property damage, and more.

However, you should note that accidents and claims drive up insurance premiums, meaning the car owner will have to pay substantially more for insurance after you get into an accident.

When Does the Insurance Company Refuse to Give Coverage?

Insurance companies are in the market to do business and can’t simply give out claim checks to every other individual. This is why an insurance company will have different types of coverage depending on the insurance coverage; there are further policy limits.

Here are a few situations where the car owner’s insurance policy will not cover you for any injuries or damages:

  • When you are not a permissive driver
  • When you are specifically excluded from their insurance policy
  • When you do not have a driver’s license
  • When you’re driving under the influence.

Are You Automatically Covered If You’re Part of the Household?

You will also not reap any insurance benefits of the policyholder if you’re living with the car owner but are not listed on their insurance policy. This is because insurance companies require household members with legal driver’s licenses listed on an insurance policy to get any claims in case of accidents.

You won’t get any medical payments coverage or property damage liability coverage on your roommate’s driver’s insurance if you borrow their vehicle and end up in an accident.

What Is Non-Owner Car Insurance?

Permissive use is part of a car insurance policy; however, if you’re a person who borrows other people’s vehicles frequently, consider getting non-owner car insurance.

Non-owner auto insurance or non-owner insurance is the type of auto insurance policy that is great for individuals who do not have their own car but borrow other people’s cars for transportation purposes.

What Kind of Liability Coverage Does Non-Owner Auto Insurance Provide?

Non-owner auto insurance provides coverage for the following:

  • Bodily injury coverage (Medical expenses, hospital costs, medical bills, and more)
  • Any damages caused by you to the other party, including property damage
  • Legal expense in case someone files a lawsuit against you
  • Uninsured motorist coverage (Depends on the insurance provider.).

A non-owner policy does not have collision coverage nor comprehensive coverage, no medical coverage if your non-owner insurance only has liability coverage, and does not have personal belongings coverage. This is because a non-owner insurance policy only covers the person, not the car or their belongings.

The liability coverage and medical protection are also limited to only the policyholder, not their family members. You can also search on rental car liability coverage with liability insurance coverage and more for those who occasionally rent out vehicles.

Read the Actual Insurance Policy Before Borrowing or Lending a Car

It would help if you never took the risk of borrowing or lending a car without reading the insurance policies to understand what it covers. Does it have owner’s liability coverage or personal injury protection? What are the liability limits or any primary coverage? Knowing these things will give you peace of mind when borrowing or lending a vehicle. Different insurance companies have their own insurance policies; some might be flexible, while others might offer a particular coverage you’re looking for.

Yes, you can borrow or lend a vehicle as long as the driver has the car owner’s permission. However, there are exceptions, so you need an expert lawyer to help you review your insurance policy and guide you with any claims or compensation you might have.

Contact Ehline Law to Help You Deal with Insurance Companies

Although an insurance company will give you reasonable policy limits, the trouble starts when these firms refuse claims or try to reduce the shares in the hopes of making maximum profit.

We Help You Fight the Insurance Company

If you’re having difficulty with an insurance company and are looking for total compensation, contact Ehline Law and our attorneys to help you file a lawsuit, expedite the claims process, and ensure you get the financial compensation you seek.

Ehline Law and our expert lawyers have, over the years, achieved great milestones, including:

  • Over 3,000 satisfied clients and retrieving over $150 million in compensation
  • Over 15 law offices across California
  • Several awards include Superlawyers rising star, best trial lawyers, and more.

We work on a no-win no, fee basis, so give us a call now at (213) 596-9642 for a free consultation with a Los Angeles auto accident attorney for your legal troubles.


Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients. We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.

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