Your friend’s car is in the shop, and they ask if they can borrow yours. They have a job interview tomorrow and don’t want to rely on public transportation. You give your buddy the keys and tell them to drive safe.
During the drive home your friend fumbles with the radio settings, you guys have never had the same taste in music. WHAM! Because they took their eyes off the road, they rear-ended the person ahead of them, and the driver in the other vehicle is not happy. Your car’s front end is wrecked, and the other driver is threatening to sue. In this situation- will your liability car insurance rates increase, or not?
How Car Insurance Works: The Basics
First thing’s first: auto insurance policies don’t follow people, they follow cars. When you take out an auto insurance policy, you’re taking it out on your car, not on you. This means that if another person is driving your vehicle and gets in an accident, your insurance company and not your buddy’s is responsible for covering the costs of property and bodily damages inflicted on the other driver.
The good news about liability insurance: if you have liability insurance and cause an auto accident, the other driver cannot sue you for damages. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) states that even though liability car insurance pays for the bodily injury and property costs of the other driver and not for you, your liability insurance policy does protect you from getting sued.
Your Car, Your Insurance
If you have let a friend borrow your car and they cause an accident, your insurance will cover the costs unless otherwise stated in the policy. Before letting anyone use your car, make sure your policy provides coverage for just this type of situation. There are some liability car insurance policies that will not cover the claim if you were not the driver responsible.
Because auto insurance follows the vehicle and the driver, your auto insurance then becomes the primary coverage, and their insurance becomes secondary, according to the Lowman Law Firm. If your friend is uninsured, the Lowman Law Firm warns that you will not have secondary coverage to fall back on should the damages caused by the car accident exceed your insurance policy’s limits. You will have to pay for the rest of the damages out of pocket.
A Car Accident and its Effects on Your Premium
If your car has been involved in accident, CBS News reports that even one claim will increase your monthly premium by as much as 41 percent. CBS goes further on to explain that for a claim equaling $2,000 or more dollars, you should expect your rates to rise above 40 percent. This adds another $335 to the national insurance premium average of $815 a year. What does this mean? It means you can expect to pay over one thousand dollars a year in premiums all because your friend couldn’t handle the music station your radio dial was set to. Before agreeing to let your buddy drive your car, set up some road rules, this will help keep them focused on the road and less likely to get into an accident.
Liability car insurance protects us when we can’t protect ourselves, especially when we’ve unknowingly let a subpar driver get in our driver’s seat. To make sure you’re covered in all accident scenarios, let CoverHound help you find an affordable and reliable insurance package today.