It’s always a good feeling to help out a friend or family member in need. Sometimes, that help involves allowing a loved one to borrow your car. But what if they take it for a spin and get into an accident? Here are a few things you should know about if a friend gets into an accident with your car.
By Giving Them Permission, You Assume the Risk
By letting someone else drive your vehicle, you’re accepting the risk of their making mistakes behind the wheel. They’re considered a “permissive driver” of your car, which means that your insurance may potentially have to pay up!
If you did not give this person permission and they drove the car anyway, then they’re the ones in charge of paying for everything. The main challenge in a situation like this, though, is that if they’re a family member or a friend, it can be difficult to prove that they didn’t have your permission.
Insurance Follows the Vehicle, Not the Person
The vehicle owner’s insurance is the one that has to pay. You might think that since you were not the one driving, you won’t have to pay through your insurance. This isn’t the case. Insurance is tied to the vehicle, so you’ll be the one covering the accident.
It’s possible that your insurance company will add a surcharge to your policy if your friend was the one at fault for the accident. This is unfortunate because you did not cause the accident, but the crash might be considered in the future when your insurance company decides your rate.
The Friend’s Insurance May Have to Get Involved
Your insurance should cover some of the accident as it does with most accidents if you were behind the wheel. But if the damage done to both cars is especially bad, the cost may exceed your insurance limits. When something like this happens, the person who was driving your car may have to bring their insurance into the situation as well. Hopefully, their insurance can help you out with covering some of the damages.
Tickets Won’t Count Against You
If the person borrowing your car didn’t get into an accident but instead got a ticket, you don’t need to worry. While insurance follows the car, tickets follow the driver. Any points accrued will go directly on their license and won’t impact you in any way. Traffic violations will count against them and won’t impact your insurance rates. But if you let a friend borrow your car and they get a ticket, this might be a reason to give pause next time they ask to borrow your vehicle!
You Should Try to Work it Out
Like we said before since the accident occurred in your vehicle, you’re the one responsible for paying for the damages that insurance doesn’t cover. If the person who got into the accident is a good friend, the two of you should discuss how to split the cost of all the money owed after the accident. If your car was seriously damaged and needs to spend some time at the repair shop, you may want to ask them to cover a rental car in the meantime!
Lastly, a word to the wise: If your friend does not have a license or insurance, do not let them drive your car. If they crash, it’s going to be expensive and frustrating for you.