Did Someone Have an Accident While Driving Your Car?
You’re a nice person, which is why you let a close friend or family member borrow your car. You expect your vehicle to come back with at least a full tank of gas, not a huge dent in the side. While your ride is insured, you still may be uncertain as to who’s responsible or how to proceed if you weren’t behind the wheel when the accident occurred. So, what do you do?
Realize That It’s Called “Car” Insurance, Not “Driver” Insurance
One of the first things to know is that your insurance policy is for your car, not for you as a driver. This means that your policy follows your vehicle rather than you. Even if your friend was behind the wheel, the insurance claim would be handled the same as if you were driving. That means that you’ll still need to file a claim, take care of the deductible and risk an increase in insurance rates. Hopefully, your friend is at least willing to take care of the deductible.
Know That There Are Exceptions
Your insurance policy should take care of the damages, but only if the person driving isn’t specifically excluded on your policy. Maybe your roommate with a horrible driving record whom you’ve explicitly excluded from your policy took your car without your permission because she knew you’d say no if she asked. In this instance, your insurance company would not pay for the resulting damages. That being said, depending on your state, you may not be responsible for the damages if you didn’t give the excluded driver permission like in the example above. Also, you won’t be held responsible for the damages if a stranger stole your car and had an accident in it.
Your Friend or Family Member’s Insurance Becomes Secondary
In the event that your insurance policy isn’t enough to cover all the damages your friend or family member caused while driving your car, his or her insurance policy would kick in to handle the rest. But let’s say that your friend or family member is found to not be at fault for the accident. Under those circumstances, the motorist who is at fault would be liable for the damages while yours and your friend or family member’s would be untouched, but a Las Vegas Car Accident Lawyer may be better suited to help you determine this.
Always Think Twice Before Letting People Borrow Your Car
No matter how much you may trust friends and family, you should think long and hard about letting them borrow your car. While they may be great drivers and have clean records, it’s everyone else on the road that you’ve got to worry about; even driving a few blocks can be dangerous. This isn’t said to make you anxious, just that you may not want to risk not having use of your car while it’s in the shop for repairs, and you likely don’t want to have to worry about paying the deductible, no matter whose pocket it’s coming out of. Make sure your friends and family understand the full weight of the risks as well before you give them your keys.
You may want nothing more than to help people out where and when you can. That said, letting other people borrow your car could turn on you if there’s an accident. Knowing how to proceed should the worse happen can bring you peace of mind.
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