You can’t predict the future. That’s why you can’t blame yourself if the buddy you let borrow your car gets in an accident. It’s not your fault. This doesn’t mean that your insurance company can’t blame you and raise your insurance premiums. What happens when your friend, child or a valet crashes your car? Will your insurance company cover it, or will you have to pay for the damages out of pocket?
According to data released by the Automobile Association of America, the average cost of an accident that results in physical injuries was $126,000. The cost of property damage in car accidents can amount to tens of thousands of dollars. It’s imperative to your own financial well-being that you know whether you’re covered or not when you’re not the one driving your car.
What Does Your Insurance Cover?
In order to know whether you’re covered or not, you’ll need to understand exactly what your insurance policy covers. Your coverage will depend on the type of insurance you have. The most common is liability, collision and comprehensive coverage. Let’s take a look at them below to get a better understanding of what it is they cover:
If you (or the person driving your vehicle) is found at fault in a car accident, liability auto insurance will cover the cost of the damage sustained to the other vehicle and any medical bills associated with the injuries of the other driver involved. Liability insurance does not cover you (or the person driving your car) if the accident is your (or their) fault. Liability coverage is the minimum requirement for insurance cover in most states.
Collision and comprehensive coverage
Although most states only require car owners to have liability coverage, 78 percent of drivers with insurance invest in comprehensive car insurance in addition to their liability coverage. In addition to this, 72 percent of drivers also purchase collision insurance. These insurance types offer financial coverage regardless of who was at fault in the accident.
What Happens When Someone Else is Driving Your Car?
There is no definite answer to the question of whether or not you’re covered if someone else has an accident while driving your car. It depends a great deal on the circumstances of the accident, who was driving the car, as well as your policy. In the future, should you go to compare auto insurance online, really dig into what is being offered and what will be covered by the policy.
- Excluded drivers
Just as your insurance provider can allow you to include drivers in your insurance policy, they can allow you to exclude others. You may choose to exclude a driver from your insurance policy if they have a bad driving record.
If a driver who is excluded from your insurance policy drives your car and is involved in an accident, your policy will not cover any costs in the accident. You should therefore never give permission to such a person to drive your car.
If the driver took your car without your permission, some states may not hold you liable for the damages that result.
- Drivers who take your car without your permission
If your car is taken without your permission, it may be difficult to prove this. In many cases, car owners end up paying for the damages. However, in cases where your car was stolen and involved in an accident, your insurance provider will cover the costs.
Take time to fully understand your insurance coverage. This will ensure that there are no shocks or financial hardships should the time come to make a claim.