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UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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If your boyfriend operates your car occasionally, you may make the assumption that he is covered under your car insurance policy. This is a natural assumption; after all, most car insurance policies cover other drivers who operate your vehicle, so your boyfriend should be covered by your policy for any damage he causes. However, there are times when this can be an expensive and incorrect assumption. Depending on the circumstances, your boyfriend may or may not be covered under your insurance policy, and it is very important to determine which circumstances may disqualify your boyfriend from coverage. You want to make this determination about your policy before an accident happens that may end up costing you money.
Does your boyfriend live with you?
There are two distinct circumstances in which your boyfriend would be covered under your insurance policy. The first is when your boyfriend lives in the home with you and is listed on your insurance as a covered driver. This is the ideal situation, for a covered driver is, without a doubt, covered by your policy for any circumstances in which a claim will be filed. If your boyfriend lives with you, it is always a good idea to list him as a covered driver on your policy, and you should also be listed on his car insurance policy. In that way, you would both be covered no matter which vehicle you are driving.
An exception to this rule is when your boyfriend has been convicted of a very serious driving infraction, such as a DUI, or has had his license suspended for some reason. If this is the case, most states will allow you to exclude your boyfriend as a covered driver from your policy. However, if he is excluded, it is very important that he never, for any reason, operate your vehicle, even to move it from one location to another in your driveway. You will have to rigorously enforce this rule, because he will not be covered for any damage whatsoever caused to your vehicle or anyone else’s. Even a slight accident could cost you thousands in repairs to yourself or another person’s car.
What if my boyfriend does not live with me?
If your boyfriend does not live with you, he is most likely covered to drive your car on an occasional basis without any penalty or loss of coverage. This is actually true for anyone to whom you give permission to drive your car on an as-needed basis. You do not want to make a habit of loaning your car out on a regular basis, but in an emergency situation, anyone who drives your car is probably covered for damages they cause under your liability policy.
Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, as well: if the person is unlicensed, or there is some other reason the person is prohibited from driving your car, that individual would not be covered under your liability insurance. In fact, if someone uses your car without permission and causes an accident, even if that person is a friend or family member, you may be forced to file charges against him or her to keep your insurance coverage in place. This is a situation in which no one wants to be involved, so limit the use of your vehicle by others if possible.
Always check with your agent before handing over the keys!
You should always check your coverage limits with your agent before allowing your boyfriend to drive your car. It is possible that he is covered by your liability insurance for damage caused to another person’s vehicle, but not for collision or comprehensive claims to repair or replace your car. Most insurance companies make distinctions in coverage between the various policies you hold, so it is imperative to check with your agent before you hand over your keys to your boyfriend or any other person not listed on your policy. If your boyfriend is covered for liability claims but not for collision damage, for example, and if he causes an accident, your insurance company would pay for the damage to the other person’s car but not to your car.
You can discuss covering your boyfriend on your policy, the types of coverage your company will offer, and any exclusions or limitations with your agent at any time. Be sure to disclose to your agent exactly how often your boyfriend will be driving your car, and under what circumstances. You can easily determine if your boyfriend will be covered, and under what conditions he may not be covered, before an accident happens and you are faced with expensive bills.