It’s commonly assumed car insurance only applies to the driver, but it typically follows the insured vehicle, so it’s entirely possible that an accident involving someone else driving your vehicle may be covered to some extent by your policy. As for what actually could happen if another person drives your car and gets into an accident, the factors discussed below will determine the answer to this question.
The Nature of Your Insurance & Related Coverage
According to the Insurance Information Institute, it’s not uncommon for car insurance to be considered primary insurance in many states. If this is the case for you, the following types of coverage may help you cover expenses related to an accident that occurred when someone else was driving your car:
• Auto liability coverage – This coverage may cover another person’s medical expenses or vehicle damage if it’s related to the accident, but anything specific to your car or the person driving it wouldn’t be covered.
• Collision coverage – If your policy includes this type of coverage, you may get some help paying for repairs to your vehicle. However, you’ll need to pay the deductible first.
• Medical payments coverage – This type of coverage, if you have it, could also help you pay for injuries the other driver may have sustained, even if he or she caused the accident.
Exceptions May Apply
Another factor to consider with your car insurance is that there may be exceptions or exclusions that prevent coverage from applying to another driver of your car. For instance, some auto insurance policies only cover anyone specifically named on your policy. For example, if a friend not listed on your policy borrows your car and gets into an accident, he or she wouldn’t be covered in this case.
Limitations Could Apply
Some auto insurance policies provide limited coverage. In other words, the other driver of your car would only be covered if certain conditions are met. For instance, your policy might require the other driver to not have been at fault for the accident. On a related note, the at-fault driver’s insurance company would likely be responsible for paying related expenses, and your insurance wouldn’t be affected at all.
Permissive vs. Non-Permissive Use
If the person driving your vehicle was either on your policy already or someone you allowed to drive your car, coverage from your policy may extend to this individual. This is referred to as permissive use. With non-permissive use, the circumstances involved will determine what happens. For example, if a friend or family member drives your car without your permission and gets into an accident, the individual would have to file a claim with his or her own insurance provider. But if that same person doesn’t have insurance, you would have to file a claim with your provider. If non-permissive use involves a thief who stole your car, you would likely not be responsible for related damage and vehicle repairs.
Your Premiums May Go Up
Lastly, be aware an accident involving another driver of your vehicle could affect your insurance payments. This could also be the case even if the individual had your permission to drive it or if he or she was on your policy.
If you need affordable, reliable car insurance, look no further than the trustworthy pros at Altra Insurance Services. We can take care of a variety of your insurance needs, including motorcycle, homeowners, and business insurance as well as surety bonds. Give us a call today at (800) 719-9972 to find out more about our high-quality insurance products and impeccable service.