In 2012, 1,823 motor vehicle collision accidents resulted in fatalities and 122,140 accidents resulted in personal injuries. Having appropriate car insurance financially protects not only the drivers, but also all other parties that are involved in the collision. The car insurance on the vehicle follows the car, and not the driver. In short, if you decide to lend your vehicle to a friend, your car insurance policy will be held liable in the event that an accident occurs. To learn more, read on.
If Your Friend Has Permissive Use
As long as your car insurance policy does not exclude a specific friend and as long as you have given permission to your friend to use your vehicle, your car insurance plan will take primary coverage status in the event that your vehicle is involved in a collision - even if you are not the one driving. If your friend has car insurance, their policy would only serve as a secondary coverage. To put it simply, you will be the one responsible for claiming the insurer, paying the deductible and even facing penalties.
If your friend is not found to be at fault for the accident, then the responsible parties' insurance will cover the damages; however, if your friend is found to be at fault, injuries parties have a right to sue you for medical fees and for property damage to their vehicles.
If Your Friend Does Not Have Permissive Use
In the event that you can prove that your friend took your vehicle without your permission, you may or may not be held accountable for any of the damages that have incurred as a result of the motor vehicle accident. If your friend has car insurance, their car insurance policy will likely be considered as primary coverage, and your car insurance will be considered as secondary coverage. While you may not be held liable for third-party damages, you may still have to use your own car insurance to pay for damages to your own vehicle.
However, if your friend does not possess any car insurance, you may be out of luck, and still be on the hook for any damages that have incurred as a result of the collision.
With this in mind, you should think twice before lending your vehicle to a friend, as you could be held liable in the event that any accidents occur. This could cause your car insurance premiums to skyrocket, and can even damage your ability to renew your car insurance plan in the coming years.