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Does auto insurance cover other vehicles?

You’re usually covered for for driving a rental or borrowed car, but not every type of coverage carries over.

Most auto insurance policies include some protection for vehicles like motorcycles, ATVs, RVs and even bicycles. However, knowing what’s covered can get confusing because there are many different vehicles and accident situations to consider.

Does car insurance cover other vehicles?

Not entirely, and even the coverage you have varies based on your provider. Every provider handles coverage for driving or towing other vehicles differently. Providers may not cover a roommate who drives your car, or anyone who drives the car regularly unless the driver is named on the policy. Review your policy carefully to understand your protection.

Situations where your car policy might offer coverage:

  • You borrow another ride. Your car insurance may provide liability coverage while you’re borrowing a motorcycle, bicycle or ATV.
  • You rent a car. Many providers allow coverage for rental cars as an included benefit that extends to most coverage on your policy.
  • You get injured in another vehicle. You could receive medical payments coverage if you add this protection to your policy, even when borrowing another vehicle.
  • A towed vehicle causes accident damage. Many insurers extend liability coverage to other vehicles you tow like RVs, ATVs or boats. Coverage applies for damage that occurs only while towing the vehicle and may not cover it for physical damage or theft.

Does car insurance cover motorcycles?

Typically, yes — but there may be exceptions. Your car insurance might cover you for liability. However, you might not have protection for physical damage to the motorcycle, original manufacturer parts, safety equipment or accessories.

Check with your provider about medical payments coverage, since riding a motorcycle may get excluded from coverage. Motorcycles offer less protection against injuries than cars do, making the ride more risky to insure.

Does car insurance cover other cars?

If you borrow someone else’s car, that person’s car insurance typically covers you. Most policies have a permissive use clause, giving you liability and physical damage coverage when you borrow a car. However, your car insurance may act as secondary coverage for anything not covered the car owner’s insurance, such as medical payments or expenses that go above their coverage maximums.

Policies should state how these types of situations are handled. Take the time to review details before getting behind the wheel.

Does car insurance cover rental vehicles?

Yes, most insurance policies cover rental cars. However, other types of rental vehicles probably won’t receive coverage since they may have different risks for accidents and injuries.

So, you probably don’t need the insurance offered by the car rental company unless the rental is worth more than your car or your insurance includes coverage exclusions. However, consider rental insurance for other vehicles like motorcycles or ATVs, especially if it’s a state requirement.

What should I do if the borrowed vehicle gets damaged?

Take action to report damage if you get in an accident with a borrowed ride:

  • Mind immediate needs first. Attend to other passengers or your own injuries first, then move vehicles to a safe nearby location.
  • Record damage and accident details. Snap photos of the vehicles involved and write details to jog your memory about the accident later.
  • Exchange information. Exchange insurance and contact information from other drivers and passengers, whether or not you’re at fault — especially if you sustained injuries.
  • Report the accident. Relate details about the accident to the vehicle owner and insurance company, as needed. You might file your own claim for injuries or other damage, depending on the situation.
  • Wrap up the claim. If you filed a claim, you should review the accident with a claims representative, agree on a settlement and finalize paperwork.
  • Get reimbursed for bodily injuries. You should receive payment by mail or direct deposit from your provider or the vehicle owner’s if you have medical expenses. You might sign a waiver releasing the vehicle owner from future medical bills related to the same accident.

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Bottom line

In many cases, your car insurance gives you the liability protection you need while borrowing a variety of different vehicles. However, consider other providers for their policy on this situation if yours includes coverage exclusions.

Common questions about insurance for other vehicles

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