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Michelle Megna
Contributing Researcher
Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. She's a former CarInsurance.com editorial director. Prior to joining CarInsurance.com, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.

Question: I’m looking for a good definition of a permissive user. How far does the coverage extend? 

Answer: In general, a permissive user is defined by auto insurance companies as a person who is not listed on the policy but who operates an insured vehicle with the permission of the owner. The permissive user may or may not be covered in the event of a loss depending on the term of the insurance contract and individual state’s laws on permissive driver use.

The majority of car insurance companies require that all household members and regular operators of the vehicle be listed on the insurance application. A permissive user is typically not a household member. 

A permissive driver, for example, is a friend or family member who visits and you grant them permission to use your vehicle. Most auto insurance policies will extend them coverage.  However, if the person lives with you or frequently drives your vehicle, they normally need to be added as a driver on your policy.

You should be aware that a failure to comply with the policy terms may result in coverage being denied.

Since the owner of a vehicle can be liable for injury or damage that occurs with their property it’s important to review your policy declarations page. It should list who is covered in the event of a loss and how your policy provides these coverages. Your insurance agent or insurance carrier also will be able to provide you with specific information regarding your policy and be able to answer any questions you may have about who is covered.

 

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John McCormick

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John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

Leslie Kasperowicz

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Leslie Kasperowicz

Managing Editor

Leslie Kasperowicz is an insurance educator and content creation professional with nearly two decades of experience first directly in the insurance industry at Farmers Insurance and then as a writer, researcher, and educator for insurance shoppers writing for sites like ExpertInsuranceReviews.com and InsuranceHotline.com and managing content, now at CarInsurance.com.

Nupur Gambhir

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Nupur Gambhir

Managing Editor

Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Michelle Megna
Contributing Researcher

Michelle is a writer, editor and expert on car insurance and personal finance. She's a former CarInsurance.com editorial director. Prior to joining CarInsurance.com, she reported and edited articles on technology, lifestyle, education and government for magazines, websites and major newspapers, including the New York Daily News.