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Auto Insurance

What Happens When Someone Else Drives Your Car and Has an Accident

You decided to be nice and loaned your car to your friend to help him out. He got into a car accident. So, what happens next? 

It all depends on the severity of the accident; how much damage was sustained by your vehicle, whether or not the driver had permission to drive the vehicle, and the specifics of your insurance coverage. In this situation permissive driving, if your car sustained minor damage, and the friend driving your car wasn’t found negligent, your automobile coverage will pay for repairs, minus any deductibles as written in your policy. Let’s take a quick peek at what constitutes negligence.

Definition of negligence.

In a car accident, negligence (fault) is determined by consideration of whether one or more of the parties involved failed to exercise reasonable care which resulted in the accident, resulting in sustained injuries, vehicular damage, or property damage. 

Law enforcement typically determines negligence through evidence at the scene. If negligence is determined, the negligent party may be held liable for any damages caused. Negligence consists of duty of care, breach of that duty, causation and damages. The compensation for damages awarded will be influenced by factors such as the severity of the accident and the degree of fault attributed to that party. If your friend is found to be the negligent driver, your insurance company will seek to recover any payouts from him. It’s important to check your insurance policy and speak with your insurance carrier to understand your coverage in this type of situation.

Will my auto insurance rates increase?

Much of what will happen depends on whether or not the person driving your car at the time of accident had your permission to drive your car, if you explicitly prohibited them from driving your car, or if the car was stolen. Some insurance companies require that all drivers within a household be listed on your policy; with others you only need to include licensed drivers under your roof. It also depends on where you live. In no-fault insurance states, your carrier will cover the expenses as long as reimbursement costs don’t exceed the extent of the damages. In that case, compensation will be sought from the other driver’s insurance.

Many consumers find that the premiums for their car insurance increase in the next 3-5 years following an accident, regardless of who was driving. However, if the driver of your car is determined negligent in the accident, your rates will more than likely quickly incur an increase.

Weaving in and out of the detailed writings of automobile insurance requires diligent research and comparison between companies of coverages, deductibles and premiums. At we provide consumers with user-friendly tools to compare more than 50 of the top auto insurance companies in the U.S. Making the right decision for your car insurance is important. Make sure with Nsure!

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