• Lisa Brown

Can I be Held Responsible if I Loan My Car to a Friend and There is an Accident?

Have you ever been asked by a friend if they can borrow your car?  Maybe your friend has used your pickup truck to move or pick-up furniture.  While your car or truck was gone, did you ever think to yourself “What if There is an Accident?”

The question of what happens when you loan your car out and there is an accident is one that we are asked quite often.  The biggest concern is always, “Who is Liable for any Injuries?”  The answer to this question depends on a number of different factors.

Does My Car Insurance Follow Me or My Car?

In most cases, your insurance will follow your vehicle whether you are driving it or not.  When you let someone borrow your vehicle and they cause an accident, your insurance will be considered to be the “primary” coverage.  If your friend has his/her own policy, their insurance will be secondary or excess.   This means that their policy will only pay for amounts over and above your limit of insurance coverage.   As your insurance is primary, any claim would be filed with your insurance company and you would have to pay your own deductible.  Unfortunately, you will also be responsible for paying any premium rate increase.  If, however, the accident was the other driver’s fault, their insurance would have to pay for any damages resulting from the accident.

With that said, there are circumstances when your insurance will not apply.  This will depend on the answers to certain specific questions.

Will My Insurance Only Cover Someone I Allow to Drive My Car?

The question as to whether the driver of your vehicle had permission to use it is important from an insurance standpoint.  If a friend or family member takes your vehicle without permission, your insurance company will not provide primary coverage in the event an accident occurs.  In such a case, your friend or family member’s insurance will be primary, and yours would be secondary.   However, this is true only if your friend or a family member has car insurance.  If they don’t, your insurance would be liable.

Generally speaking, those who live in your household will be covered by your own insurance policy when driving your vehicle.   This is true unless you have explicitly excluded a person in your household from your policy.  This would require you to tell your insurance company that the person is not permitted to use your car.   If that person then drives your car anyway and crashes, your insurance company will likely deny coverage for the crash.

Finally, your insurance company will not pay for any personal injuries or property damage to another vehicle if your car has been stolen and is involved in an accident.

What If I Loan My Car to an Unlicensed Driver?

If you loan your car to an unlicensed driver or a driver that is intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, you could be held personally liable for any damages.   This means that your personal assets could be at risk in any lawsuit.

Before loaning your vehicle to anyone, it is important to know what your insurance policy provides.  It is also important to know whether the person to whom you are loaning your vehicle has their own car insurance policy.  Unfortunately, most people don’t think about these things before an accident happens.  That is why when an accident does occur, it is important that you hire an experienced Ruskin personal injury attorney to protect your rights.

Free Information

If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:

  1. Your Guide to Florida Car Accident Claims;

  2. The Ultimate Guide to Florida Slip and Fall Cases; and

  3. 5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case

which are available on our website, or you can click the link provided.  You can also contact us at (813)419-3866 to talk directly to a Ruskin personal injury attorney now.

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