Does Car Insurance in Oregon follow the car or the driver?

A friend asks to borrow your car while they are in town.  Is it a safe idea to do so? Maybe. 

In Oregon, Car insurance typically follows the car rather than the driver. This means that the insurance coverage primarily applies to the vehicle itself, regardless of who is driving it. As long as the policy is active and the driver has permission to use the vehicle, the insurance should provide coverage for any accidents or incidents involving that car. However, it’s important to note that there can be exceptions and variations depending on the specific terms and conditions of the insurance policy and the laws in the jurisdiction where the incident occurs. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to review your insurance policy.  The team at EPB&B  will  work with you to help you to understand the extent of coverage and any limitations to your auto policy.

Here are some examples of common scenarios to consider before loaning your car or driving another person’s vehicle.  

  1. Permissive use: Many car insurance policies provide coverage for you when you drive someone else’s car with their permission. This coverage (on your own policy) is typically secondary to the primary coverage provided by the car owner’s insurance. So if the car owner’s insurance limits are exhausted, your insurance may kick in to cover additional damages, up to your policy limits.
  2.  Exclusions: Some insurance policies exclude coverage when you’re driving a vehicle you don’t own. In such cases, if you’re involved in an accident while driving another person’s car, you may not be covered by your insurance policy.
  3. Business or commercial use: If you’re driving another person’s car for business or commercial purposes, your personal car insurance policy may not cover you. You would typically need commercial auto insurance for such activities. This normally only applies to jobs involving “delivery” or carrying people or products for a fee.
  4. Rental cars: Car rental companies often offer insurance options when you rent a car. If you decline these options and rely on your personal car insurance, it may or may not provide coverage when there are certain kinds of loss. For example, most personal auto policies do not cover potential diminished value following an accident. We always advise customers to purchase insurance from the rental car insurance at the time you rent.

Navigating auto insurance can be confusing and it helps to have a trusted advisor by your side. Contact the team at EPB&B to make sure your auto policy is current and has the coverages you need to protect you, your vehicle and the people you care about. 

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