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What Happens if Someone Who Isn’t on Your Insurance Crashes Your Car?

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If Someone Else Drives Your Car and Wrecks It, Does Your Insurance Cover the Damages?

There are many reasons that someone else might be driving your car. They may be another driver in your household using the car to run errands. They might be a friend who you said could drive your car to pick someone up from the airport. They might be your spouse, who regularly drives your car to and from work. These are just a few examples, but in all, there is a question of what happens if that person is involved in a car accident.

If someone else is driving your vehicle and ends up in a car or truck accident, does your insurance cover the damages? Would it cover the damages even if the person in question isn’t listed as a driver on your insurance policy? Keep reading below to find out.

Can You Let Someone Else Drive Your Vehicle?

Yes, you can often let someone else drive your vehicle for a wide variety of reasons. Obviously, you want to take care about who you allow this privilege. After all, you are trusting such individuals with your car, so you may only want to allow responsible drivers to operate your vehicle.

You may also want to ensure that the driver understands their responsibility and knows where your registration and insurance paperwork is. Even if the driver doesn’t own the car, if they fail to provide proof of insurance when asked by law enforcement, they might face issues such as license suspension.

Does a Driver Have to Be Listed With Your Insurance Company?

A driver doesn’t have to be specifically listed with your insurance company to drive your car. The fact that a driver who is operating your vehicle with permission is not listed specifically on your policy doesn’t automatically mean the insurance company will deny any claims related to an accident that driver was in.

It is important to talk to your insurance agent about any requirements in listing regular drivers on your plan. You may need to include people in your household who will regularly drive your car, for example. These requirements may differ by insurance company and policy, so always ask about these details to ensure you set your policy up appropriately. Attending to these seemingly small details can make a big difference if you ever need to file a claim with your insurance.

Does Your Insurance Policy Cover Damages If Someone Else Was Driving Your Car?

Whether or not your insurance company will cover damages if someone else wrecks your car depends on a variety of factors. Insurance does typically cover the car and not the driver (though there are exceptions), so you may need to file a claim with your insurance company in such a case.

Who Was at Fault in the Accident?

It does depend on who was at fault in the accident. If your friend is driving your car, for example, and is hit by another driver and that other driver was at fault, your insurance probably won’t be responsible for the damages. It’s likely that the other driver’s insurance would be responsible for covering the damages to your car as well as other losses related to the incident. However, if your friend got into an accident and he was at fault, then your insurance may need to cover the damages.

Do Any Exceptions Apply?

There are exceptions that create situations where your insurance may not cover damages. For example, if you didn’t give permission for someone else to drive your car, your insurance may not cover damages. In this case, the person who drives your car without your permission may be held responsible for the damage.

You also have an option to exclude a driver from your insurance policy. This is done as a way to save money on premiums or restrict people from driving your car. For example, if you have a high-risk teen driver in the home and you don’t want to add them to your insurance policy because it would increase your premiums, you can exclude them. However, if that person ever does drive your car, your insurance would not cover any damages that occur while they are operating the vehicle.

Auto insurers might also refuse to cover damages that were caused when someone was illegally driving a vehicle. If someone didn’t have a driver’s license, for example, or was drunk while driving, your insurance might deny claims.

Does This Mean Your Insurance Premiums Might Increase?

If you file a claim for damages that occurred when someone else was driving your vehicle, it has a similar impact on your claims history than if you filed a claim related to an incident while you were driving. Depending on the procedures of your insurance company, this can impact your premium payments.

For example, say your insurance company offers accident forgiveness, and the first accident in a certain period of time does not cause premiums to increase. Someone else driving your car and getting into an accident can count as that one accident.

Get Legal Help Seeking Damages After a Car Accident

It’s important to remember that insurance companies are not 100% on your side — even if it is your insurance company. These businesses have profit margins and stakeholders to attend to, so they may make decisions that are not in your best interest.

If you are dealing with insurance claims related to an accident — no matter who was driving — having an experienced lawyer on your side can help. Call Jarrett & Price at 912-446-7983 to learn how we can help with your car accident case.

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