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Who or what does car insurance in California follow?

  • Auto Insurance
  • Xavier Sabastian
  • 3 minutes

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When it comes to car insurance, figuring out when you are insured and when you are not can cause a migraine. One of the most common questions regarding auto insurance is whether it covers the person driving the car or only the vehicles mentioned in the policy. The solution, like most car insurance-related inquiries, can be convoluted. 

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Are you looking for the best car insurance in California? You can read about what to expect in California here. In this blog, there is an in-depth analysis of what to expect of car insurance in California.

Does car insurance in California follow the driver or the car?

If you let someone else drive your car and get into an accident, your insurance company will likely pay the claim based on your policy’s coverages.

In a sense, when someone borrows your car, they are also borrowing your car insurance. Your car insurance will be primary if someone goes to your car with your permission. This implies that if the permissive driver causes an accident, your car insurance will cover the damage in the same manner as if you were the one behind the wheel. 

car insurance in California

Your liability coverage will cover any injuries they cause to others, while your collision coverage will cover any damage to your car as a result of the accident. There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule.¬†If the person who borrows your car causes an accident, your insurance may not cover the damages if you don’t have a valid driver’s license or if your friend is driving under influence.

If someone takes your car without your permission and causes an accident, they will be held financially responsible. Car insurance in California usually follows the car, although this is not always the case. Particular sorts of coverages may accompany the motorist in specific instances. 

When a motorist borrows a car and causes an accident, the car owner’s insurance is primary coverage if the driver has their insurance. If the damage caused exceeds the owner’s liability coverage limits, the driver’s liability insurance will cover the remaining costs.¬†We don’t recommend lending your car to someone who doesn’t have car insurance since you’ll be responsible for any charges that exceed your coverage limit if they have an accident with your car.

Never presume that your insurance will cover the collision and any resulting damage. Some policies do not cover relatives who live with you unless they are specified explicitly on your policy. Other plans may cover you, but only to a certain extent. Everyone’s policy is different, so do some research before assuming it will cover specific situations.¬†Insurance typically follows the car in California, but not all circumstances are the same.

Car insurance in California

If you plan to lend your car to a family member or friend, or borrow one from someone else, review both of your insurance plans first. For each driver, the answer to whether insurance follows the car or follows the driver will be different.¬†No matter who the driver is, as long as they have the car owner’s consent to drive the car, the owner’s policy will offer coverage. The car owner’s insurance coverage should cover injury and property damage. Exceptions do occur, which is why it’s critical to discuss them with an insurance agent.¬†

California car insurance


Check out our blogs for info on finding top-rated airport parking, the best parking spots in your city, and affordable car washes near you.


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