Your cousin borrows your car for the weekend. Your babysitter uses your car to drive your kids to the swimming pool. You’ve given them your permission – but what happens if there’s an accident when someone else is behind the wheel of your car?
Generally it’s not a problem if they’re driving with your consent. If it’s an occasional use – say I borrow your car to go pick up a burger – and as long as permission has been verbally granted, you’ll typically be covered.
But borrowing a car under other circumstances may not be as clear cut.
Typically, even if the person driving your car has his or her own insurance, your insurance will likely pay damages first if there’s an accident. The driver’s insurance may cover some of the personal injury or medical expenses, and it may supplement your plan if the accident maxes out your coverage.
When you have someone you employ, such as a maid or a nurse who will be a regular driver, contact your insurance agent to have him or her added to your policy.
Because the policy terms and state laws can vary widely, always contact your insurance agent before loaning out your car – or any other motor vehicle, such as a motorcycle, boat, jet ski, snowmobile, ATV or RV.
Don’t be careless about lending your car. If you know someone isn’t a good driver, think twice about giving your permission. Any accident they’re in could go on your insurance record (separate from your BMV/DMV record).
Oops, I promised a list:
- You might want to go for a test drive with them?
- At the very least make sure that their licence is valid!
- Let one friend use your car and not another? This is the stuff that can change friendships forever.
- You will probably be responsible for the deductibles an accident will incur.
- You’re lending your car insurance, not just your car – insurance follows the vehicle!
- Ask someone why they need your car, and make your decision based on necessity.
- Set expectations – you don’t want to get your car back and find a heap of dirt and old fast food containers (or maybe you do?)!
- Any insurance losses your carrier pays out will stay with you for 5 years.
- If a friend borrows your car without your permission and causes an accident, your friend’s insurance will probably be considered primary coverage and yours secondary. If your friend doesn’t have insurance, you’re out of luck.
- If you lend for a period of more than a few days, the driver may be considered to be habitual and then would need to be added to your policy.
This list is subjective and may bring up even more questions so, if you live in PA or OH, just call us to discuss your situation.
Toll Free 844.675.2111