This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Don't Let Other People Drive Your Car

You may have a problem when your no-good, beer-swilling brother-in-law swipes your car keys without your permission. Or your 14-year-old goes for a joyride. Or your neighbor borrows your car with your blessing and then lets his goofy nephew drive it.

Hope and pray these people don't get in accidents, because car insurance coverage can be tricky at best and nonexistent at worst in cases like these. You could be on the hook not only for the damage to your own car but the damage the driver causes others. And if you live in a no-fault state, personal injury protection for the driver could be in jeopardy.

Car insurance policies generally cover you and the licensed drivers in your household who are listed on the policy and any other licensed driver to whom you give occasional permission to drive the car. Details can vary by policy or state law, but in general, when someone drives your car without your permission, coverage "depends on whether it's going to be classified as a theft or unauthorized use," says consumer analyst Penny Gusner.

If your car is stolen, then any damage to your vehicle would be covered under comprehensive insurance, an optional form of coverage. If you carry only liability insurance, the damage to your car isn't covered at all. Even if the thief has his own car insurance coverage, it will not cover his criminal actions. Meanwhile, your insurance will not cover the thief's liability. The thief could be sued for any damage or injuries he causes.

Stolen or taken without permission?

The distinction between theft and unauthorized use is murky.

You might tell your insurer that the car was stolen, Gusner says, but that becomes questionable if the person who took the car was a family member or friend who had ready access to the keys.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs