If you’re like most licensed drivers, you’ve thought about the legality of letting friends and family borrow your vehicle. You know that in order for you to drive legally, your automobile must have valid insurance. But what if your friend wants to drive your car, but he or she is not on your insurance policy? Will their automobile insurance cover them automatically, or are they covered under your insurance policy?
Does Car Insurance Follow the Driver?
Car insurance follows the car, not the driver. However, many drivers mistakenly believe that car insurance follows the driver. If that were the case, if your friend borrowed your car, their auto insurance policy would cover them in the event they were involved in a car accident in your vehicle. Unfortunately, car insurance does not follow the driver – it follows the car. So, if you decide to lend your car to your friend or family member and they’re in a collision, you would be on the hook.
“But what if my friend has excellent insurance with better coverage than me?” As long as your friend is in an accident while driving your car, your auto insurance would be the one to cover the damages from the accident.
Think Twice Before Lending Your Car
Thinking about letting your dad drive your car to the store while you cook dinner? Considering letting your best friend from high school borrow your truck on moving day? Want to let your fiancé drive your car while he or she visits from out-of-town? If you’re considering letting a friend, relative or co-worker borrow your car for a few hours, days or weeks, you may want to think twice before letting them use your auto insurance.
If someone else, who is not on your auto insurance policy, causes an accident while driving your car, you will be responsible for paying the deductible. While you may believe your friend or family member would pay for the damages, legally, it is your responsibility. If your auto insurance is insufficient to cover the damages, such as the other driver’s medical bills, property damage, and lost income, then YOU can be sued.
Will My Insurance Premiums Increase?
Unfortunately, it’s entirely possible and probable that your insurance premiums will increase if your friend crashes your car while driving it. While allowing friends to borrow your car may seem like a kind and helpful action, make sure you understand the potential consequences of doing so.
Lending Your Car to an Uninsured Driver in New Jersey
Essentially, if you give someone permission to drive your vehicle and they are in an accident, your auto insurance would be the primary coverage, but your friend’s automobile insurance would serve as secondary coverage, that is if they have coverage. If they are uninsured, you would be liable for all of the damages. Simply put, the vehicle driven by the at-fault driver is covered by the insurance policy on the car. Insurance follows the car, not the driver.
Looking for a New Jersey car accident lawyer? If so, contact Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law at (201) 870-1909 for stellar legal representation.