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My friend got into an accident while driving my car

It’s been a gag in more than one comedic movie: A character begs to borrow their friend’s car, promising that they will never get in an accident while driving their friend’s beloved vehicle. Then, in the very next scene, the borrower gets their friend’s car into a fender bender or worse. Here’s what you should know before you let a friend borrow your car.
Nov 2nd 2022
4 min read
Learn what happens if a friend got into an accident while driving your car.

Will my insurance cover an accident when someone else is driving my car?

In most cases, your car insurance covers your vehicle, not you, the owner. So, the good news is, if you give your friend permission to drive your car, and they get into an accident, your insurance will probably cover it. However, this depends on the kind of coverage your policy includes and the dollar value of the damage.

You may want to look up the terms of your policy and the laws of your state to be certain of your level of coverage. In most cases, if you have standard personal liability coverage, that would cover any damage to another car that your friend hits, in addition to injuries of anyone in the other car.

Standard collision coverage usually covers any damage done to your own vehicle in an accident. Meanwhile, comprehensive coverage may cover any damage caused to your car if your friend drove it into a guardrail or a tree.

When it comes to other types of auto insurance that are required in some states but not others, such as personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments, or uninsured/underinsured coverage, things can get tricky. The policies and state laws governing these types of coverage vary. So, asking your insurance company about how someone borrowing your car would be covered by these types of coverage is advisable.

 

Does it depend on what type of accident or who is at fault?

If your friend gets into an accident with your car, but the accident is another driver’s fault, then the other driver and their insurance should cover the damages in most cases. The exception is if you live in a “no-fault” state, in which case each driver is required to buy personal injury insurance (PIP) that covers their medical expenses or those of anyone else in their car.

However, depending on the laws in a “no-fault” state, the driver who caused the accident may have to pay for damages to the other driver’s property, or even medical expenses if the accident was very serious. In addition, your insurance may have to step in with coverage if the at-fault driver was uninsured or underinsured.

 

Am I liable for an accident someone driving my car caused?

If your insurance agrees to cover the accident your friend caused in your car, then you probably will be liable for paying any insurance deductible in your policy. However, if the damages from the accident exceed your coverage limit, you may be able to get additional coverage from your friend’s car insurance policy if they own one.

Generally, if a friend drives your car without your permission and causes an accident, your insurer may refuse to cover the damages. This means your friend may have to find a way to pay the costs, but if they can’t, the expenses may be yours to pay. In either case, you will probably still have to file a claim with your insurer to explain the situation. This would also hold true for instances in which your child allowed their friend to borrow your car.

Insurance companies may also refuse to cover an accident in which your friend drove your car with permission but while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or while committing a crime. The same holds for when your friend doesn’t hold a valid driver’s license.

Insurance companies can also refuse to cover a household member or loved one who was deliberately excluded from your auto insurance policy because of their driving record or history with drugs and alcohol.

Whether your rates go up as a result of your friend’s accident in your car depends on several factors. These include your previous driving history, the nature of the accident, and your policy. It may take more than one minor accident to affect your insurance premiums.

 

Conclusion

Friends crashing their friends’ cars is funny in the movies, but not in real life. It’s a good idea to research how your policy will help protect you before you lend anyone your car. This can help you to protect both your car and your important relationships from harm.

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