Q) If I let someone borrow my car and they are in an accident, whose (if any) insurance will apply?
A) A good rule of thumb: "Liability follows the car." In most cases, the insurance on the vehicle will apply if the accident is sustained while the vehicle is being driven by someone with permission. In many cases, the liability insurance of the person driving the car will pay if the amount of the loss exhausts your policy's limits.
Q) If my child goes away to college with one of mom or dad's cars, are they still covered under my Personal Auto Policy?
A) This is a very common scenario and may be viewed differently by different insurance companies. You should contact your insurance company and make sure the child is properly listed as a driver in order to avoid any future coverage disputes or prorated premium changes.
Q) My lender mentioned "gap" insurance. Do I need it?
A) As long as the value of your vehicle is less than what you owe, yes. If the balance of the loan is less than the value of the vehicle, no.
Q) My teenager is approaching driving age. How can I cover him without breaking the bank?
A) Drivers under 25 pose the greatest risk of causing an accident. It is difficult to add someone in this age group to your auto insurance without seeing a major premium change. Keep in mind that it is more expensive to insure a teen if the only car(s) on the policy are a sports car, SUV, or other more valuable, attractive, expensive-to-repair vehicle. Consider purchasing a lower-end vehicle for your teen to drive and insure it separately in his name.
Q) I just bought a new car and have yet to tell my insurance company. Am I still covered?
A) Coverage may apply for newly acquired vehicles, but you should notify your insurance company immediately. Most companies have strict limitations on the types of vehicles to which coverage will apply, the type of coverage that will apply and the amount of time that may lapse before coverage will not apply.
Q) My family is preparing for vacation and will be renting a car. Will my auto insurance apply?
A) Many auto insurance companies will extend liability coverage to a non-owned vehicle when rented for personal use. However, restrictions may apply. Similarly, there may be restrictions to the coverage offered by the rental car company. Before taking your next trip, contact your insurance company to ensure that a restriction does not ruin your family vacation.
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