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What to Do When Another Driver Is At-Fault in an Accident in Your Car

  1. Rule #1: Anyone Living in Your House is Usually Covered Unless They Are an “Excluded Driver” On most insurance policies, any licensed driver in your house can drive your vehicle unless the policy expressly excludes them. This is because most policies require you to list all the drivers in your house, so they are covered within your policy. You may, however, have excluded a licensed driver in your house because of various reasons, such as a poor driving record. These drivers will not be covered in the event of an accident.

  2. Rule #2: “Permissive Use” Covers Occasional Use by Other Drivers For those cases that a friend or family member who is not part of your household needs to use your car, permissive use will usually apply. It’s important to know that permissive use means that you are giving that driver permission to take your car and they will be covered by your insurance.

  3. Rule #3 Car Insurance Follows the Car It’s a common misconception that car insurance follows the driver. In fact, car insurance covers the vehicle. This means that your own policy will provide coverage for another driver, not theirs. The other driver’s insurance acts as excess insurance in case yours does not fully cover the accident; however, your insurance is the primary insurance. Here’s an example: You lend your truck to a friend for a day so that they can move out of their apartment. Your friend accidentally backs into another car and damages their vehicle. Since your truck has primary coverage, you are the one who is liable and will need to:

  4. File an insurance claim with your company

  5. Pay the deductible

  6. Accept insurance rate hikesIf your insurance can’t fully cover the damage to the other vehicle, then your friend’s insurance will step in and cover the rest.

What happens if I didn’t give the other driver permission to drive my car? If someone takes your car with your permission, then it can be difficult to prove, unless that person admits to taking it. If they don’t admit it, usually, you’ll still end up paying because of that lack of evidence. If they will admit to taking your car without permission, however, then their insurance may be used as primary coverage.

Talk to Our Car Insurance Agents if You Have Questions If another driver gets in to an accident with your vehicle, then call our agents to help you out. We’ll go over your policy and how to get the situation taken care of effectively and quickly. If you are thinking about loaning out your car to a friend or family member, then please give us a call and we’ll talk at length about the terms of your coverage. It’s important to be as prepared as possible for any situation! Our goal is to make sure that you are protected.

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