Here’s the situation: Your sister comes to town to visit and stays with you. You offer to lend her your car so she can go shopping. Then, you get a call from her that she got into an accident. You might be asking yourself: Does my car insurance cover other drivers?
We’ve compiled several of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to lending your vehicle to somebody else.
Does car insurance follow the car or the driver?
Car insurance follows the car rather than the driver in most cases. However, insurance coverage can differ from insurer to insurer and policy to policy. Other factors can decide whether and to what extent a person or car is covered, including the state where you live, the names listed on your insurance policy, and whether you allowed someone else to drive your vehicle.
How does insurance cover other drivers?
If someone borrows your car, they’re also — in a sense — borrowing your car insurance. That’s the case only if you allow them to drive your vehicle. Your policy’s liability coverage would pay for injury and damage they caused to any other driver and their property. If you have collision coverage, your policy will cover damage caused to your car.
If the borrower gets into an accident, how do I file a claim?
You should gather as much information about the accident as possible. Speak with your friend or relative who borrowed your car and hear their side of the story. Get the accident report from the police and contact information from everyone involved. You may also want to find out if there were any witnesses and if anyone has photos of the accident. Once you collect all the information, file a claim just as you would if you were the one behind the wheel.
If the borrower gets into an accident and it’s their fault, does this infraction go on their driving record or mine?
Auto insurance typically follows the car, not the driver. Even though you weren’t involved, you would have to pay your deductible, and your rates would likely increase following the claim. The borrower’s insurance is secondary. It only applies once you exhaust your insurance. However, if the other driver in the accident was at fault and you can prove it, their insurance will most likely cover any damages.
What happens with my insurance if a borrower uses my car and gets into an accident without permission?
If a friend or family member borrows your car without your consent and causes an accident, they’re liable for any injuries or damages in most cases. However, if the borrower doesn’t have insurance, you may have to file a claim to help cover property damages.
If a thief steals your car and gets into an accident, you most likely won’t be responsible for any damages to the other vehicle. But, you might have to file a claim to cover repairs for your car.
Will I need to increase my coverage if another driver is going to borrow my car?
It’s not mandatory to increase your coverage, but it’s a good idea to do it. If you’re planning to regularly lend your car to someone else, you may want to consider adding that person to your policy to ensure you’re both covered. You may also want to add coverages that might be optional to you, like collision protection, personal injury protection (PIP), comprehensive coverage, and uninsured/underinsured motorists coverage.
No matter your situation, get in touch with your insurance agent before lending out your car. That way, you know what to expect if your friend or relative gets involved in an accident. If you’re looking for reliable coverage at an affordable price, you’ve come to the right place. Talk with a Mercury agent today for a fast, free quote!