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Old 19.05.2012, 20:13
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I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Greetings,

I don't own a car but I occasionally drive a friend's car - driving my friend or her parents somewhere, or making a "run" to the store for a chore of some type.

Do *I* need to worry about buying vehicle insurance for myself . . . or is the insurance tied to the car, and not the driver? Where can I go to get the "official word" on this matter?
I live in Canton Soloturn (SO) near Aarau.

Also, I have a current California driver's license, and understand I have 1 year until I get a CH driving permit . . . any different information on this?

Thanks in advance!

Marcus
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Old 19.05.2012, 20:16
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Hi and welcome.

If it was me, I'd rather check with the owner's insurance, rather than an expat forum, really. If you had a Swiss or EU license you would be. Much better to check with THEM (but yes, I think you are covered- but why take a chance). I for one would not lend my car to a non-Swiss/non EU license holder without checking first with my Insurance. Quick phone call will do- followed by written confirmation- you should be covered - but why not check for sure?

Enjoy the Summer in Switzerland. If you are here for longer, why not change your license now? We changed our within a couple of weeks of getting here to make life easier, especially with Insurance.

Last edited by Odile; 19.05.2012 at 22:17.
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Old 19.05.2012, 20:18
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Thanks for the note - a good thought.

I've relocated from Santa Cruz, CA . . . not here for the summer - fyi
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Old 19.05.2012, 21:29
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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I don't own a car but I occasionally drive a friend's car - driving my friend or her parents somewhere, or making a "run" to the store for a chore of some type.

Do *I* need to worry about buying vehicle insurance for myself . . . or is the insurance tied to the car, and not the driver? Where can I go to get the "official word" on this matter
Do you have a private liability insurance? If so, check its policy for the German term 'Gelegentliches Fahren' and ask your insurance for further information. Most private liability insurance policies cover the use of someone else's car, however, only for a small number of uses a year and usually with a deductible. Some insurance policies do not define 'gelegentlich' (occasional), in others it is defined as a specific number of uses a year.
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Old 19.05.2012, 21:38
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

No . . . don't have private liability insurance - and I wasn't really planning to get any either - bad idea?
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Old 19.05.2012, 21:49
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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No . . . don't have private liability insurance - and I wasn't really planning to get any either - bad idea?
It's pretty cheap and you can get it with your household insurance (which you should definitely get). We got ours for like 200 CHF for the year, though we didn't do the driving add-on. Check out en.comparis.ch and see what it looks like for you.
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Old 19.05.2012, 21:50
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Okay - thanks for the info!
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Old 19.05.2012, 21:52
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Just not worth being without honestly- it is cheap and will cover for a multitude of possible mishaps with third parties.

As said above, if you are staying here longer than one year, why not change your driving license now- what is the point of waiting. And then you are covered.
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Old 19.05.2012, 21:55
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Re: changing license . . . thinking about it for now, kinda depends a bit on the relationship - I *plan/hope* to stay for longer . . . if you take my meaning.
Thanks again for the info!
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Old 19.05.2012, 22:03
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Puzzled by some of the previous posts - as I understand it, my car insurance covers anyone to drive it, provided they have a valid licence and are not under 25 (which is a specific exclusion I've chosen to have).

So no, almost certainly you don't need specific insurance for yourself. But it's simple enough to check - just ask the owner if he's got any specific exclusions that may affect you. If not, you're covered.
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Old 19.05.2012, 22:14
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^^^ what my insurance company said
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Old 21.05.2012, 16:06
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

In Switzerland car insurance covers the car, not the owner. There may be a certain number of restrictions, for example young drivers may have a larger excess, but you are always covered.
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Old 21.05.2012, 16:11
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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In Switzerland car insurance covers the car, not the owner. There may be a certain number of restrictions, for example young drivers may have a larger excess, but you are always covered.
Only if the car is actually fully or partially insured. Such insurance is voluntary and full insurance (Vollkaskoversicherung) is only common for new cars. If such an insurance coverage exists, there is still damage to cover for the driver, for example reduced 'bonus' (i.e. a higher premium) or a deductible. A private liability insurance usually covers such damage.
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Old 21.05.2012, 16:46
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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Only if the car is actually fully or partially insured. Such insurance is voluntary and full insurance (Vollkaskoversicherung) is only common for new cars. If such an insurance coverage exists, there is still damage to cover for the driver, for example reduced 'bonus' (i.e. a higher premium) or a deductible. A private liability insurance usually covers such damage.
I don't think the OP was asking "would a car be covered for damage caused by a friend when driving it?" but more whether any additional insurance was required. It's not.
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Old 21.05.2012, 16:48
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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I don't think the OP was asking "would a car be covered for damage caused by a friend when driving it?" but more whether any additional insurance was required. It's not.
Additional insurance is not required if the OP can afford to pay the damage caused himself. He's liable to the car owner and other injured parties.
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Old 21.05.2012, 17:26
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

How much time and money would it involve to phone the car's insurance and check FOR SURE, exactly what would be covered or not? Surely it is worth making absolutely sure? Easy peasy - and then you KNOW exactly what's what. I've lent my car often to friends and family with EU licenses, but when my friends come from the US and I want to lend them the car - I'll phone my friend at the Mobilière - and be abso sure. Just a phone call - takes less time than writing on EF
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Old 21.05.2012, 17:27
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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Additional insurance is not required if the OP can afford to pay the damage caused himself. He's liable to the car owner and other injured parties.
It's not required at all. In the event of damage, of course the driver may be expected by the owner to make good. But 'other injured parties' would be covered by the car policy - that's what it's for.
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Old 21.05.2012, 17:45
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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Only if the car is actually fully or partially insured. Such insurance is voluntary and full insurance (Vollkaskoversicherung) is only common for new cars. If such an insurance coverage exists, there is still damage to cover for the driver, for example reduced 'bonus' (i.e. a higher premium) or a deductible. A private liability insurance usually covers such damage.
The expensive stuff - damage to third parties and/or their property - is always covered by third party liability insurance, which is compulsory and will only come after the owner if the car was driven by someone who to the owners positive knowledge had no license or was incapacitated (that means DUI, with the "UI" bit being obvious to a casual observer).

The more embarrassing stuff is the damage done to the friend's car itself. If your mate doesn't have "full" insurance, you have to pay him. Which is where your private "third party liability" insurance with the car option comes in.
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Old 21.05.2012, 19:03
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

Thanks for all the comments . . . as suggested earlier I will contact the *owners* insurance and see just what, is what.
Didn't mean to cause such a stir.

Marcus
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Old 21.05.2012, 19:55
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Re: I Drive a Friend's Car - Do *I* need Insurance?

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How much time and money would it involve to phone the car's insurance and check FOR SURE, exactly what would be covered or not? Surely it is worth making absolutely sure? Easy peasy - and then you KNOW exactly what's what. I've lent my car often to friends and family with EU licenses, but when my friends come from the US and I want to lend them the car - I'll phone my friend at the Mobilière - and be abso sure. Just a phone call - takes less time than writing on EF
Hi Odile,

I am amazed you can pin down any employee of a large organisation in Switzerland, normally several people need to be consulted & 2 people seem to be required to sign a very standard letter.

I am sure they are not allowed to give any information to someone other than the policy holder without a power of Atorney.
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