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Responsibility When Friends Drive Your Vehicle

If you know anything about the way car insurance works, then you've probably come across the issue of who is at fault when other people are driving your vehicle. A lot of people believe that when friends are driving their cars, that they are not responsible. They believe that the friend's insurance coverage will have to pay for any damages or fees if an accident occurs. This is a mistake that you should never believe, as your friends will not be responsible for these mistakes. You will end up having to pay for the damages and for the medical expenses.

The basic rule is that if you happen to give someone the permission to drive your vehicle, then your insurance policy, not theirs, will be responsible for covering the damages associated with an accident. While some states have different sets of rules, most of them consider whichever policy that the owner has purchased for the car to be the primary insurance, and the primary insurance will be what is used to pay for accidents that involve the vehicle. However, if the damages from the accident actually exceed the limits of your policy, then it may be possible to get your friend's policy to cover some of these costs.

Why This Rule Exists

If anyone could drive anyone else's car without being listed on the policy and paying for coverage, there'd be a lot of people out there who didn't secure their own coverage policies. The burden for paying for these damages would rest solely on the shoulders of the owners of the vehicle, and he or she would have to take on the responsibility for other drivers who didn't pay anything to get on the policy. That's an awfully unfair burden for one owner to have to bear.

With insurance, a driver will pay rates and fees based on his or her personal circumstances, such as married drivers auto insurance. An insurance company will decide how much risk that person poses and then charge a monthly premium based on these factors. This is the fairest way of deciding premiums, and that's what companies choose to handle policies and risks in that way.

When you enter another unknown person into the equation, it messes with the level of risk associated with you having an accident. Your friend could be more accident prone than you are, and could end up getting into an accident. In this situation, it's right that your insurance provider would have to pick up the costs because you secured a policy for risk on you not a risk on others. While many people think it's unfair because the accident will cause their rates to go up, even if they didn't cause it, they are trusting another with their cars and essentially letting them borrow their risk levels.

Get Specific Coverage

If you want specific friends to be allowed to drive your car and remain covered, then you need to look into adding them onto your car insurance policy. It may cost you an additional premium each month, but think of all the money you could lose if an accident occurs and your coverage levels will not cover what your friend has done. Even worse, your provider may choose not to pay out for certain coverage types because your friend was driving. That means if you had some collision coverage that would normally take care of the repairs to your vehicle, your company could refuse to take on these expenses because you loan out your vehicle to another person. Be wary of your responsibility when friends drive your vehicle.


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