Monthly Archives: September 2009

Do you occasionally drive someone else’s vehicle?

I carry a high auto liability limit with an umbrella to provide additional limits for protection against a large loss.  I have coverage when I am operating my vehicle, a rented or borrowed vehicle. There is an exclusion for vehicles not listed on my policy and provided to me for my “regular use”.  Consider the two scenarios:


1.  My partner and I have been living together for quite a while, but we are not married.  She owns her vehicle and carries low liability limits and no umbrella. She drives a pickup, I drive a sedan. I sold my pickup since I could use hers whenever needed and she then drives my sedan. We have keys to each others vehicle. Driving her vehicle, the front tire exploded; I lost control and hit a school bus causing serious damage as well as fatalities. I had limits on my policy to protect me for this situation but unfortunately my partner didn’t. We shared her minimal limits and were both personally responsible for the additional million plus dollars in damages. I should have insisted my partner carry liability limits equal to mine or limited my use of her vehicle.


2.  My son, in college, takes one of our vehicles to school. He lives in an apartment with 3 other guys, one with coverage similar to mine and 2 with no coverage at all. They have a single car-wide driveway and park one car behind the other. Keys are left on a hook in the kitchen. Because it seems easier, if someone is leaving, they just take the car nearest the road. My son drove a vehicle whose owner carried no liability coverage and caused a serious accident.  My son has caused me to become financially responsible. I should have insisted my son drive only his vehicle and not allow anyone else to drive it.


Be careful when you use other people’s vehicles. In most situations your personal auto insurance will respond, but don’t become the exception. Call us at 888-433-0031 or visit our website for complete coverage review. We are an independent insurance agency serving Washington, but we are also licensed for Oregon, California, Nevada and Arizona.