It happens all the time – friends ask if they can borrow your car to run errands or haul furniture from one place to another. If you have an SUV or van, the requests probably come more frequently. In most cases, you throw over the keys without hesitation. Unfortunately, not every trip goes smoothly and your friend may have been in a car accident in your car. If your car is damaged, you are probably wondering who is going to pay for it.
If you have a payment dispute after an auto accident, consider these questions:
Does my Insurance Follow the Car or Driver?
Whether or not your insurance covers vehicle damage when someone else was driving your car depends on numerous variables, including the type of insurance and the specific policy. If you have comprehensive policy or collision insurance, these follow the vehicle. They might cover damage to the car sustained by a covered driver. If your policy covers the damage, you will need to file a claim, pay the deductible, and potentially deal with higher insurance rates.
Does my Insurance Cover the Other Driver?
Policies often limit who is covered to those named on the policy, people living in the same house, and family members. However, someone who was just given permission to drive your car may not be covered – but you will have to look at your own policy to be sure.
What About the Borrower’s Insurance?
In some circumstances, your friend’s insurance may follow him no matter what car he drives. Whether or not his insurance covers property damage and follows him to other cars depend entirely on his specific policy.
If, by chance, his policy does follow him and will cover vehicle damage, he may need to file a claim or you might need to file a third-party claim with his insurer to be compensated.
What if no Insurer Will Pay?
If neither your nor your friend’s insurance company will cover the property damage, the question becomes: who will pay out of pocket? Unfortunately, if you want your car fixed quickly, you will probably have to pay for it yourself. But you may be able to be reimbursed from the borrower.
Since your friend caused the accident due to his negligence or purposeful actions, you have a legal claim against him.
Contact a Legal Representative
If someone borrowed your car and caused damage, come to Oldham & Smith for legal advice. Call us at (352) 292-1620 or contact us online.