Determining if your are covered in rare situations can be a fuzzy subject unless you read through the terms and conditions of your policy. The only way to really know when you are covered and when you are not is to go through your auto insurance policy with a fine-toothed comb, or even better, pay for a lawyer to look over your policy.
But who has the time for that?
Of course, we all need car insurance to drive. But all policies and companies aren’t created equal. We’d like to remind you that every auto insurance company is different and has their own quirks and sets of terms. This guide simply covers the norm, which actually isn’t all the common.
What applies to Insurance Company A, won’t necessarily apply to Insurance Company B. To get the best information regarding your policy, it is always best to contact your auto insurance provider directly. Most companies have fairly informative websites that can help answer your questions as well.
But before you contact your insurance company to get the low-down, let’s take a look at a few different scenarios that we are often asked about:
Am I Covered When I’m Outside the United States?
Whether or not you are covered when you drive in the United States all depends on your particular policy. Most insurance companies will only cover you in the continental US. Sometimes they will extend coverage to Canada and Mexico. Usually, they will cover you in Puerto Rico, and nine times out of ten they will cover you in the non-continental states (Alaska and Hawaii).
Some auto insurance providers to offer international policies. If you are planning on driving outside the US frequently you should either get an auto insurance policy in the appropriate country or get extended coverage from your current provider.
Am I Insured When My Friend is Driving?
This is kind of a complicated situation. If your friend wasn’t at fault, and the other party does in fact have auto coverage, the other party will be responsible for paying.
If your friend is at fault, your friends auto insurance should cover the damages. Unfortunately the chances of them having auto insurance are less likely if they are borrowing your car. If this is the case they will have to pay damages out of pocket.
So to summarize the answer to the question, no it doesn’t cover your friend, but you aren’t responsible.
The same goes for if you are borrowing a friends car. Even though it is not your car, you are still responsible for any damage done.
What Happens When a Tree Falls On My Car?
In the case that a tree falls on your car, flooding causes water damage, or if your car gets swept up in a tornado, you certainly aren’t at faults, but you better hope you have comprehensive auto coverage.
Basic policies come only with collision coverage which only covers costs in the case of a collision, hence the name.
If a situation occurs where your car is damaged, but not involved in a collision with another vehicle or other property, the damages will only be covered if you have comprehensive coverage.
Final Thoughts On Insurance Coverage
Remember that not all insurance policies are the same. While your neighbor’s insurance might cover damage to his car caused by next week’s tornado, your insurance might not! The best thing to do to make sure is to give your insurance agent a call (just to be safe). If there are additional coverage types that you would like to add, he/she will be happy to assist you.