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Ask the Car Insurance Expert

I don't have car insurance. Will I be covered by my dad's policy when I borrow his car? I don't live with him anymore, although I haven't changed my address with the DMV.

Probably.

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Generally a car insurance policy extends coverage for household members listed on the policy as well as to people who occasionally borrow the car with the policyholder's permission. So yes, you should have coverage when you borrow your dad's car.

However, you and your dad should keep in mind that coverage for permissive drivers -- those who occasionally borrow the car -- might be more limited than it is for those listed on the car insurance policy. This is due to something called a step-down provision. Some insurance companies pay only the state's minimum auto liability limits if a permissive driver causes a crash -- even if the policyholder pays for liability coverage above the state's minimum limits.

Your dad should check his policy and call his car insurance agent to learn whether a step-down provision would apply. It's better to know how much coverage insurance provides before an accident than to get an unpleasant surprise afterward.

Here's more about why you might have less car insurance than you think.

Meanwhile, go to your state's Department of Motor Vehicles website to learn how to file a change-of-address request for your driver's license.

Last updated: Sep. 19, 2012
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