Updated: Mar 22
So, you are that friend. The one that loans your vehicle to a friend in need. That's awesome! (need more friends?) And you probably made sure they have insurance, too, right? All is great in the world! Ha! If you've read any of my other blogs, you know somethings coming.
Being the great friend you are, you borrowed your car out to another friend. And while your friend had it, they got into an accident causing some significant damage to your vehicle and to the other person's vehicle as well. But you stay calm, I mean, you made sure they had insurance before you let them drive it, right? So you figure no worries, it's all good. But... here it comes... you figured wrong.
I remember in class to get my insurance license (you think talking to us about insurance is rough), one of things the instructor told us that stuck with me was that your Personal Injury Protection (PIP, I've blogged about it before) follows the person and the liability/physical damage coverage follows the car. So, if you let your friend borrow your car, even if they have their own auto policy, your auto insurance will cover damages to your vehicle (again, if you have full coverage) and any damages they caused to other vehicles or property (your liability coverage). Yep, that's coming off your insurance. Which also translates into an accident hit on your insurance, which translates into possible increase in premiums.
So, as a friend borrowing the car - double check that the owner has insurance on it before you drive it. Just because you carry auto insurance, that does not mean you are covered in any vehicle you drive. And as the friend giving permissive use to your friend, just remember - your auto insurance is what is going to come into play in the event of a loss. I'm not saying don't do it (because maybe I'm that friend!), I'm just saying make sure you know what is covered so you are prepared in the event of a loss.
I think I say in almost every blog, always call your agent if you have questions! Never assume you have coverage in place. The last thing your agent wants to do is tell you that something isn't covered. As agents, we would much rather you come in, grab a cup of coffee, sit down with us and let's go over this stuff! You have questions? We have answers. Let's make sure we are Protecting What's Important to you and just as important, let's make sure you know what we are protecting.