There are a variety of reasons why you might allow someone else to drive your car. You might loan it to a friend or family member. You might need someone to drive you after a doctor’s appointment, or when you’re recovering from an injury. You may be splitting driver duties with someone else during a long road trip or sending an employee out on an errand in your vehicle. Whatever the reason, you may wonder, “What happens if there’s an accident? Does my auto insurance cover events if someone who isn’t on the policy is driving?”
It’s an important question to ask. If the individual driving isn’t covered, this could create some rather large bills for you in the event of an accident, particularly if the person who was driving your vehicle was found to be at fault.
The Answer Is, “It Depends”
The answer will depend on the amount and nature of damage caused by the accident. In most cases, the insurance is assigned to the vehicle, not the driver, so most policies will cover minor damage to your own vehicle if someone was driving your vehicle and you consented to it. This minor damage would be covered by your collision coverage. (So be sure to carry collision if you ever let others drive your vehicle.)
In the case of a more serious accident that causes a lot of damage and/or injury, your policy will probably cover the driver (and anyone else in the car) under your liability insurance. In addition, your liability insurance may cover damage to the other vehicle. If there is an injury to anyone driving or riding in your car at the time of the accident, however, some insurance companies will pursue the driver’s personal insurance policy to cover the damages. (So if you do allow anyone to drive your car, be sure they themselves are properly insured, or you could be open to paying large medical bills for all parties involved.)
Do not let anyone who has a suspended license, no license, or no personal auto insurance drive your vehicle or anyone who might be impaired. An accident under these circumstances could open a vast collection of expenses, legal problems, and liabilities for you.
If you regularly allow a family member or employee to drive your vehicle, it’s a good idea to add that person’s name to the policy to prevent any headaches arising from the event of an accident. Some auto insurance policies don’t cover family members living in your home unless they are specifically named on your policy.
Check Your Policy
Because there are a lot of grey areas regarding the type of coverage and options you might have, it’s important to check with an insurance agent first before you allow anyone else to drive your vehicle. To be sure that your vehicle insurance policy will cover all potential liability before you let anyone else get behind the wheel, check in with the company that holds your policy. In Connecticut, Petruzelo Insurance offers personal and business policies that fit your needs and protect your vehicle. Call us at 866-479-3327 or visit our website for more information.