Car accidents can not only result in severe injuries, but they can also cause significant financial burdens on accident victims. Some of the most common expenses include vehicle repair or replacement costs, alternative transportation costs, and a rise in insurance premiums.
If you get involved in a motor vehicle accident, your car insurance company can cover the damages, but it can get complex if your friend crashes your car. Typically, your friend’s insurance company would not pay for the damages they caused if they were driving someone else’s vehicle. Please continue reading to learn more about such accidents and how an auto accident attorney can help.
What Is a “Permissive Driver”?
A Permissive Driver is someone that has your permission to borrow your vehicle. Most insurance companies define it as the occasional use of your vehicle by another person. People who occasionally drive your vehicle do not have to be listed on your car insurance policy. The principal driver drives the vehicle more than 50 percent of the time.
If someone is driving your vehicle regularly, such as your roommate, friend, family member, or neighbor, they should be listed on your policy, even if they have their own insurance. In most cases, insurance will only cover people listed on your policy as permissive drivers.
Does Car Insurance Provide Coverage For Permissive Drivers?
Auto insurance policies can cover damage to the policyholder’s vehicle and any bodily injuries sustained by the accident victim, regardless of who was driving the insured vehicle. So even if your friend was driving your vehicle and caused an accident, your insurance can be considered primary insurance for recovering damages. If the damages from the crash exceed your policy limits, your friend’s insurance can be regarded as secondary insurance for paying for the accident.
However, not all insurance policies cover accidents caused by anyone other than the policyholder while driving the insured vehicle. These policies typically have lower premiums than standard auto insurance policies because they only provide limited coverage for the policyholder and exclude all others who have borrowed the vehicle. You should consult a car accident attorney to determine the best way to recover damages for the accident.
Expect Insurance Premiums to Rise
Generally, insurance premiums rise when the policyholder’s vehicle has been in an accident, even if the policyholder was not driving. The premium increase will depend on your location, the accident’s severity, and whether you or your friend was at fault.
Some people also purchase Accident Forgiveness at the beginning of their policy period, an optional add-on to their insurance coverage. With Accident Forgiveness included in your policy, you would not face any increase in insurance premiums after a car accident. Generally, drivers with a clean driving record can purchase this add-on.
Get Assistance From an Attorney
If you let someone borrow your car frequently, adding them to your insurance policy is best to avoid any adverse consequences after a car accident. Insurance policies can be vague and confusing when your vehicle suffers damage or people get injured in an accident when you are not behind the wheel. Hiring an attorney can help you determine how to pursue insurance claims, get maximum compensation if you are at fault, or minimize the legal repercussions of being the liable party.