1406 N Pines Rd Spokane Valley WA 99206
While it might seem like it is no big deal, you should think twice before you lend your vehicle to someone else.
“Can I borrow your car?” seems like an innocent enough question. “I’ll have the car back in a couple of hours,” they say. It may seem like a little favor, not really worth a second thought. “Sure, take my keys,” you say. When you give someone not listed on your insurance policy permission to drive your car, you could be setting yourself up for a giant headache.
The next thing you know you get a call from your friend, relative or co-worker and they have been involved in a fender-bender or worse. How does your insurance policy respond? Do you have coverage? We encourage smart driving decisions, and therefore discourage the practice of lending your car to others. People are often confused about who is covered on their auto insurance policy. If you decide to lend your car to someone else, you will first want to make sure there is coverage.
Most auto insurance policies normally provide coverage for your car if driven by any of the following people:
You, the “named insured”
Your spouse, as long as he or she lives in your household
Other family members who are related to you by blood, marriage or adoption
A foster child who lives in your household
A child who is away at college but still considers your address his or her permanent address
Anyone to whom you lend your car
It is important to check your individual policy carefully and make sure you understand any exclusions or limitations that may apply before you allow others to drive your car. If there are such exclusions and/or limitations prohibiting someone not listed as a driver on your policy from operating your vehicle, there very likely would be not coverage. ALWAYS CHECK YOUR POLICY.
What will happen if you decide to lend your car to someone not listed as a driver on your policy and they cause an accident? Your insurance is going to pay first and you will have to pay your deductible. The reason? Most auto policies insure your vehicle plus you, any relative, and anyone else using your car with your permission. If the person driving your car were to have their own policy, their policy would be secondary and would kick in only after your limits of liability have been used up. Initially your insurance would likely pay the full cost of the accident, but your company would then “subrogate”, or seek compensation from the person driving.
Keep this in mind next time you think about lending your car or truck to a friend or family member: Insurance follows the vehicle, but insurance responsibility usually follows the policy holder. Be sure to have this discussion with your driving age children. Teenagers generally have no idea that it is not OK to lend the car or let someone else drive.
We, as mentioned before, discourage the practice of lending your vehicle to others, but if you do it is best to know what/who is and is not covered.