Car insurance can be complicated, and oftentimes, drivers don't understand exactly what is and isn't covered in their policy. While auto insurance varies by state and provider, there are some common scenarios covered by most insurers. If you have more questions about what your general auto insurance covers, the best source of information is your insurance company.
Are my children covered by my policy?
As your children start to learn how to drive, you'll probably have some questions about how long your insurance covers them. According to CarInsuranceCompanies.net, a child that has a learner's permit will usually be covered by your policy automatically. Once your child gets his or her license, however, you will have to decide whether to add the new driver to your policy or get him or her young driver's insurance.
Either way, you or your child will be paying additional money. New drivers tend to be much more likely to get into an accident, meaning that it will be a few years before he or she can get cheap car insurance. Adding your child to your policy is likely the cheapest option, as you could have access to multi-car and multi-product discounts, but it all depends on your insurance provider.
Am I covered if I let someone borrow my car?
If the person borrowing your car lives with you, he or she will have to be on your policy to be covered, according to Bankrate. As far as your insurance provider knows, a driver that lives with you might borrow your car all the time, meaning that the risk of him or her getting into an accident has to be considered in the company's risk assessment.
On the other hand, if your friend borrows your car for a quick trip to the store, they are usually covered. Someone that you don't live with isn't going to be driving your car often enough to factor in significant risk, so they don't have to be considered. Be aware, however, that this isn't always the case. If you are consistently letting someone borrow your car - for business, as an example - and your insurance provider finds out, you'll have to add them to your policy to be covered. Read more about non-owner car insurance.
Does my general auto insurance cover a rental car?
Many drivers are confused about rental car insurance, as many rental car agencies offer their own insurance products. You're generally covered, according to Bankrate, but there are some things that are not covered. If you damage or total a rental car, the agency might charge you for the time that the car is out of service, for example, and this could not be covered by your insurer.
What about the contents of my car?
The contents of your car are not covered by most general auto insurance providers, who only assess the risk of you getting into an accident in order to provide you with the lowest rate. This doesn't include the potentially expensive contents of a car, which insurers have no way of knowing about. Some car insurance companies may offer coverage for the contents of your car if you're willing to pay a little bit extra.
Am I covered if I am hit by an uninsured motorist?
According to the Insurance Research Council (IRC), one in seven motorists on the road is driving without insurance, even though this is illegal in most states. In some states the rate may be as high as one in three, while in others it is considerably lower. If you live in a state with a high number of uninsured motorists, you should consider buying coverage against this risk, as you are not normally covered by your general auto insurance.
If you're unsure of your coverage, call your insurance provider or contact a Direct agent at 1-877-463-4732 to learn more.