Find out how your insurance could be affected

You may have no problem when a friend asks to borrow a pen, a sweater, or even a little money, but when it comes to your car, this might be something else entirely. Often, our car is much more than just a functional item that allows us to get around.

Not only are they probably one of our most valuable possessions, for many of us, they’re our babies. And you don’t just lend your baby to someone.

But because you are a good friend (or perhaps your buddy is just extra persuasive), maybe you relented and handed over the keys. Things seemed fine until you got a call or text from said buddy informing you that they were involved in a little – stressing little – fender bender.

And while you’re happy they are alright, it’s really your car you are worried about. In addition to repairs, police reports, and other things to think about, you of course have to consider your insurance. But since you weren’t driving, you surely have some questions, like:

Is my friend covered under my insurance?

Unless someone is specifically excluded, most car insurance policies cover everyone in a household. As for friends or people who may borrow the car periodically, they are probably covered under something referred to as permissive use.

But it’s important to remember that it is still your policy; even if they have their own car insurance, once they’re driving your car, it’s your policy that applies.

Whose insurance pays for what?

If another driver caused the accident, most likely things will proceed the same way as if you were driving. However, if it’s your friend’s fault, you are on the hook. This means that your insurance will have to pay for any damages to another car or injuries to a driver. If you have collision insurance, you will have to pay the deductible for any repairs to your car.

Will my insurance rates go up?

You better hope your friend gives you a nice apology gift or takes you out for a steak dinner, because chances are your rates are going up. Even though you weren’t driving, you made the choice to hand over the keys.

What happens if my friend was ticketed?

Here’s some good news: You and your insurance won’t be affected if your friend gets a ticket for reckless driving or another infraction. Any sort of violation goes on a driver’s license regardless of what they were driving.

What if my friend didn’t have permission to use my car?

Here’s where things can become tricky. First of all, proving that you didn’t give them permission may be hard. But if you can, there are generally three scenarios.

First, you could claim it was stolen. In this case, you will not be liable for damages and/or injuries. You would rely on your insurance to pay for damages to your own car. If the person who took your car without permission has insurance, their policy would pay for damages or injuries. However, your may be required to fill in any gaps. Finally, if the friend who took your car doesn’t have insurance, any resulting expenses fall to you.

The moral of the story

Aside from needing to pay for repairs and having your insurance rates go up, it could be worse than that. If you knowingly allowed an unlicensed or intoxicated person to use your car, not only will you be held liable, you could end up facing a lawsuit. If you learn anything from this, it should be that you need to be careful about who you lend your car to.

If it has been a while since you examined your car insurance policy, it may be time to give it a good look so you know exactly what is and isn’t covered. And if you need different coverage or want to see if you can get a better rate, just contact Avante Insurance.