I wish I had known how car insurance worked when I was 17, and understood whose insurance covers an accident when someone else is driving your car. When I was in high school, it was the coolest thing to be the only one to have a car. It felt special to hold the power and let close friends have a turn at the wheel.
One day, we were driving down some windy backroads and my friend went too fast on a curve. He overcorrected and we ended up in a ditch, with the front of the car faced down. Luckily no one was seriously injured, but the hood of the car was totaled and we were shaken up like the milkshake we instead should’ve been drinking.
I was so scared and shaken I had no idea how to resolve the situation. We all decided that the best thing to do was to tell my parents and the highway patrol that it was I who was driving. I thought that if my friend was driving my car, “the insurance wouldn’t work” and my parents would be even more upset and they’d have to pay everything out-of-pocket.
Not only did I get an accident on my record and my license revoked until I was 18, I also couldn’t drive to my own prom. So here’s an important lesson to learn: If a friend crashes your car, it’s your insurance that covers the accident. Even if your friend had no permission to drive or borrow your car, you would still be liable.
So I lied for nothing and took the fall, but there are other scenarios that could have affected the liability.
If we all had major injuries and had hospital bills that cost more than my (parent’s) insurance coverage limits, then my friend’s (father’s) insurance would have covered that liability, but because we lied and said I drove the car, we wouldn’t have been covered by his insurance.
If we told the truth about my friend driving, and the accident involved another car, you would still be liable for all the damages, including the injuries and damages of the other car. Your friend’s insurance would only have been accessed after you’ve reached your coverage limits.
Next time you let your friend drive your car, remember that the car insurance is attached to your car, not to the driver so beware of who borrows your car.
About Jason Cass
I am the Co-Owner of The Insurance Alliance. I love to speak nationally on the topic of insurance and I am the author of "Customer Service is Just Foreplay" an Amazon Best Seller. I don't sell insurance, I help people buy it.