When driving your car, if you become involved in an accident, your insurance will pay for the damages incurred. The exact coverage that will be provided will depend on your policy.
But what happens if you let a friend drive your car and he or she becomes involved in an accident?
Whose insurance covers what?
Let’s take a closer look at several car accident scenarios as well as what you should expect.
Question #1 – What happens when your friend drives your car and causes an accident that results in minimal damage?
When this happens, whether or not your friend has insurance or not, your insurance will pay for the damage. You will also be responsible for paying your deductible. Before allowing a friend or family member to drive your vehicle, it is a good idea to come to some type of agreement that involves your friend paying your deductible should he/she crash your car.
Question #2 – What happens when your friend drives your car and causes an accident that results in a lot of damage?
If serious bodily injury is incurred, as well as a lot of property damage, your friend’s policy will pay for the bodily injury that occurs to him/her and any passengers in the car. Your liability coverage will pay for the property damage. If you are sued for some reason, your liability insurance will also pay for the associated legal fees. It is important that you note your insurance probably has some type of liability limit, meaning once the limit is reached, you will then be responsible for paying the remaining amount; however, it may be possible that your friend’s policy will kick in and pick up the remaining amount that is owed.
Question #3 – What happens when your friend is uninsured and drives your car and causes an accident?
It is not a very smart idea to lend your vehicle to a friend who is uninsured. In doing this, you and your insurance will be solely responsible for medical and property-damage expenses. Since you knowingly and voluntarily let your friend drive your car, he or she cannot be held responsible except for in a few circumstances. For example, if he or she was to drink and drive and cause an accident, the court may decide he or she needs to be responsible for the damages incurred.
Question #4 – What happens when your friend drives your car and crashes it but you didn’t give permission for him/her to be driving it?
If your friend crashes your car and you didn’t give permission for him or her to drive it, most likely, you will not be held accountable for any of the damaged incurred. His or her insurance will kick in first. If he or she doesn’t have insurance, the collision portion of your insurance policy may be used to cover your own vehicle – however, your friend will be responsible for paying your deductible.
Question #5 – What happens when your car gets stolen and crashed?
If your car gets stolen and crashed, you will not be held responsible for any damages incurred during the accident – however, once again, your collision coverage may have to be used to pay for your car’s damage. The only way your collision insurance wouldn’t have to be used is if the thief covers your repair expenses, but for the most part, it’s safe to assume the thief won’t have the financial means to pay. Some people think that the thief’s insurance would pay for the expenses, but this is false. His or her insurance will not pay for this type of criminal act.
Question #6 – Will your insurance rates go up if your friend borrows your car and crashes it?
Unless you have some type of accident forgiveness, there is a good possibility that your rates will go up. Even when your vehicle is crashed by a driver other than yourself, if you gave permission for the person to drive the car, it still reflects badly on you and your rates.