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If I Borrow an Arizona Resident’s Vehicle, Do I Need My Own Insurance Because I Live in California?

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Ask An Insurance Question Last Updated: 07/16/2012

The owner of the vehicle is the one responsible for the insurance coverage.

This is actually a two part question:

1) I am driving someone else’s vehicle do I need my own insurance?

2) I am driving a vehicle covered with an Arizona car insurance policy, so do I need my own insurance because I am driving it in California?

First, no, you do not need your own insurance coverage when you are driving another person’s car. Insurance follows the vehicle and not the driver. If you were to get into a car accident, the insurance on the vehicle would cover the accident.

Second, I would check to make sure that the coverage that is on the vehicle meets California minimum requirements. Really there should be no problem here as Arizona minimum insurance requirements are just slightly higher than California requirements, but check just to make sure you are okay.

As far as required coverage, since the vehicle is registered in Arizona, it is not in the California insurance database. This means that California will not be contacting you to get your own insurance on the vehicle.


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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

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