Have you ever lent out your car to someone and wondered, "If he/she gets in an accident, who's insurance pays?" Or borrowed someone else's car and thought, "What happens if I get in an accident in their car?"
As safe drivers, we all do our part to keep ourselves and others safe while driving. However, what happens when we lend others our car, and they get in an accident? Who pays?
We are here to help regardless of who is at fault. We handle car insurance claims every day, so we are ready to help you get set up with the right coverage in the first place, before an accident happens.
Who is responsible if a friend gets into an accident with my car?
You trusted your friend with your car to run an errand, and he ended getting into an accident. You, as the owner of the vehicle can be held vicariously liable. Car insurance follows the owner of the car first. "Borrow the car, borrow the policy" . However once the the limits of YOUR insurance are exceeded with this accident, your roommate's insurance would kick in and cover the remainder - IF he has his own insurance.
How does Property Damage coverage work if my friend borrows my car?
If your friend borrows your car and damages another person's vehicle, or several vehicles, or say, a fence, the Property Damage Liability section of your car insurance policy will cover that.
Property Damage Liability covers the cost of repairs to another person's property (car, fence, etc.) if you are at fault. Since you will be held vicariously liable, you will need this coverage and here at Elliot Whittier Insurance, we recommend $250K under Property Damage.
How does Liability Coverage work if my friend borrows my car?
There are 2 components to liability insurance under most traditional Massachusetts car insurance polices: Property Damage Liability, that we just talked about, and Bodily Injury Liability. In the event someone is injured, Bodily Injury Liability covers medical costs for the driver and their passengers if your friend who borrowed your car caused the accident. Costs such as doctor and hospital visits, and often emergency services such as if an ambulance is needed.
What if there is a serious injury?
To recap, your car insurance would cover injuries to the other driver and their passengers in the event your friend borrowed your car and caused the accident. If the liability coverage on your car insurance was exhausted, your friend's car insurance policy would dovetail in and cover the rest. This is why it's so important to make sure anyone you loan your car to has their own car insurance too.
How does the damage to my car get covered?
If you have Collision Coverage, which we regularly recommend, you will have coverage to repair the physical damage to your vehicle. Collision Coverage takes care of:
- Collisions with objects such as trees, signs, fences, buildings, etc.
- Single car accidents such as skidding off the road and running into a ditch.
- Collisions with other vehicles.
So even though your friend was the one driving and the one at fault, it's your car insurance that will kick in.
Are there any times when there's not coverage?
We can't talk about every single scenario, because that's not possible. However we can talk about the typical situation. If you loan your friend your car every once in a while, there's coverage. If your car is "always available" for someone else's use, your car insurance company may exclude this person from being covered under your policy. In this case you would be paying out of pocket, so, make sure you limit the use of your car.
If my friend gets in an accident with my car, will it affect my premium?
It is possible that even one at-fault accident claim under your car insurance can cause an increase in your premium. For this reason alone, it's important to be careful who you lend your car to.
Here's how an independent insurance agent would help
As a Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agent, and one of only 2% of independent agents in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with a Five Star Award of Distinction, there's no one better equipped to help than us. We search through all of our carriers to find those who specialize in auto insurance for your particular situation. We will walk you through the best combination of coverage and cost. You can get started by requesting a quote today!