You may be listed as a driver on your parents’ insurance policy. The car you drive may be on that policy, too. But you may not be covered to the same extent your parents are.
Note: This information is based only on personal auto insurance policies in the State of Maine using ISO coverage forms. Most insurers that sell through independent agents use these forms. Many “direct writers” use proprietary forms, which may differ. Check with your own agent to be sure.
Are You a “Resident”?
That’s the big question. If you’re a member of your parents household, you have all of the coverage that they do. If you’re not considered a “resident”, then you’re only covered to drive the vehicles listed on your parents’ policy.
So, what’s a “resident”? That line can be tough to define. If you’re a full-time student who returns home between school terms, you’re still a “resident”. If you’re not in school, and have a place of your own with a lease or utilities in your name, you’re not a resident of your parents’ household. Those are the two ends of the spectrum. The middle can get muddy.
Renting a Car
If you’re a “resident”, you’re covered on your parents’ policy just like they are. For Maine residents, that means the liability and physical damage coverage applies to a rental car (in the U.S. and possessions, and Canada). You may be responsible for other expenses, and there are some holes in coverage. But, many Mainers take their chances and waive the rental company’s insurance.
If you’re not certain that you’re a “resident”, we recommend that you buy the insurance from the rental car company. You don’t want to be responsible for damage repairs, lost income and any liability from an accident while you’re driving the rental car.
If you’re thinking of renting a car, and you don’t have an insurance policy in your name (not just a driver), contact the insurance agent or company whose name is on that policy. They can advise you about your personal situation. If you’re driving a vehicle insured by Noyes Hall & Allen, call us at 207-799-5541. One of our agents will be happy to help.