What happens if you lend your car to an uninsured person, and they get into an accident? What are the different insurance and legal considerations that you need to take? What if the car gets damaged or is stolen? This article will discuss these scenarios and the legal implications for each.
Permissive vs. Non-Permissive Car Usage
If another person is involved in an accident while driving your car, whether your insurance coverage kicks in may be determined by whether or not you allowed them to borrow it. This type of use is known as "permissive" or "non-permissive."
Assume a friend or family member steals your car and causes an accident without your permission. In that case, you could be held harmless because your friend's insurance could be deemed primary if they drive your vehicle without your consent and cause an accident. Your policy may cover the accident even if your friend does not have insurance. If, on the other hand, a criminal steals your car and causes an accident, you will not be held liable for the damage and repairs to the other vehicle. You may, however, need to file a claim with your insurance company to cover the cost of car repairs.
According to Nolo.com, most auto insurance policies cover drivers you name on the policy or anyone you allow to drive your car. If another driver is involved in an accident while using your vehicle with your permission, your insurance will almost certainly cover it. However, some states may provide less coverage if you allow others to drive your car.
Make sure to read your policy's terms and conditions or consult with an insurance agent to ensure you understand what is covered in your state. It would help if you also spoke with your insurance agent about the possibility of dropping specific drivers from your policy.
How Do You Prove Your Permission?
It's tough to prove that someone has permission to drive your car. You may have to pay for the damage if an accident happens and you can't show that you agreed to it.
Assume someone has a bad driving record, and you know it will raise your insurance premiums. If allowing someone else to drive your car results in an accident, you may choose to drop them from your coverage. Your insurance company will not cover the damage.
Finally, if the driver of your vehicle commits a crime, you may be held responsible for their actions. Examples are driving while intoxicated or without a valid driver's license.
Supplemental Coverage with the Driver's Insurance
If the person driving your vehicle has auto insurance, you may be able to use them as a supplemental insurance source. Although this is a common misconception about vehicle insurance, a non-owner driver is not entirely liable. The primary coverage, in this case, would be provided by your automobile insurance.
Another driver, for example, could be to blame for an accident involving your vehicle. Your insurance company is responsible for the damage because the other driver was at fault in your car. Nonetheless, your coverage covers damage up to a specific limit. If you go over the limits of your policy, you may be able to use the other driver's insurance to cover the difference.
What Happens When Your Insurance Refuses to Pay?
Damages to your vehicle may be excluded if another person was driving it at the time of the accident and any of these conditions apply:
· Your car was seized without your consent.
· Your insurance policy does not cover the driver of your vehicle.
· The driver is impaired by drugs or alcohol or they do not have a valid driver's license.
Insurance Rates After Someone Has an Accident with Your Car
Even if you were not driving at the time of the accident, the occurrence could impact your insurance rates. Even if you are in a single accident, your insurance rates may not immediately rise. Assume you were involved in another accident not long before the one in which you collided with another vehicle. In that case, your insurance company is more likely to raise your rates, take away your discount for being a safe driver, or cancel your coverage.
If you are concerned about them, accident forgiveness is a possibility worth considering. Several insurance companies offer "accident forgiveness" after an accident, which may keep your rates from rising. It is frequently offered as an add-on to basic insurance and may be limited to drivers with a certain number of accident-free years. Other ways to save money on your rates are as follows:
· Combining your home and auto insurance policies
· Comparing new car insurance quotes
· Increasing your coverage or deductibles
· Taking advantage of available car insurance discounts
Different Third-Party Driver Accident Scenarios
You may be able to avoid having to worry about insurance in some cases. If your friend drives your car and causes an accident, the other driver's insurance will cover the costs and damage.
If your friend was at fault in the accident, your insurance situation might worsen. Your insurance will cover the property damage if no one is injured. You will be responsible for the repairs if you do not have collision coverage. Then there's your deductible to consider.
If you are injured in an accident, your insurance company may reimburse you for medical expenses if you have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage. If the injuries are severe, adding your friend's insurance could ensure the person gets the right amount.
Your friend could be without insurance. This is risky because there is no other insurance policy to cover the extra costs. Because it was your car, your insurance may cover the remaining costs, which could be significant. Before letting a friend borrow your car, double-check their insurance. If they don't, don't let them drive your car because you might be sued if there's an accident.
You might not have considered one potentially dangerous scenario: car theft and subsequent collision. You are not liable for the other person's injuries if it is a stranger, but your collision insurance will cover the damage to your car.
It is difficult to prove that a friend stole your car because they lacked authorization. You will need to persuade the insurance company. If they believe you, the damage will be covered by their insurance. If the insurance company does not believe you, you may need to hire a car accident attorney.
If you're involved in an accident while driving someone else's car, you could be liable for the damages, even if you're not the vehicle's registered owner. Even if you're not directly at fault for the accident, you might still be held responsible because your friend or family member is the registered owner. This can be a tricky situation, especially if you are hurt. Consult a personal injury lawyer about your case and determine how to claim damages.