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What Happens if Somebody Else is Driving My Car and Crashes?

Posted on February 29, 2024 in

Insurance generally follows the car, not the person. In most circumstances, if another person has permission to operate your vehicle and gets into an accident, your insurance will be on the line for paying compensation to any injury or property damage victim. If the individual you let operate your vehicle did not cause the incident, the at-fault driver’s coverage typically kicks in.

Insurance Follows the Vehicle

If you loan somebody your vehicle, this generally means you permit them to use it. When a person has “permissive use” of a vehicle, then your personal liability coverage will act as the primary coverage for injuries or damage caused by the person operating your vehicle. In other words, if the person you loaned your vehicle to caused a crash, your insurance is responsible for the damages to the other parties involved.

In Connecticut, every driver is responsible for carrying certain types and amounts of liability insurance:

  • Bodily injury liability of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Property damage liability of $25,000 per accident
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorists of $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident

Unfortunately, if the total amount of insurance coverage you have is not sufficient to cover the damages of other parties involved, you may find yourself on the other end of a personal injury lawsuit filed by the victims. We strongly encourage you to examine a few things:

  • The total monetary value of your insurance policy
  • Whether or not you should loan your vehicle to others

Even a relatively minor vehicle accident can get expensive, so we encourage individuals to carry more than the minimum insurance required if they are able to do so. It does offer a significant amount of protection in these circumstances. Additionally, we strongly suggest limiting how many people you let borrow your vehicle. You may not think about the potential liability issues when someone asks you if they can use your vehicle, but the consequences of not considering these issues are far too severe.

In the event, someone used your car without permission or if someone who isn’t in your household borrowed the vehicle, this is referred to as “non-permissive use.” If an accident occurs under this circumstance, your insurance carrier may decline to pay for any damages related to the incident. That does not mean that you will not be liable for the damages. The party or parties harmed due to the actions of the person using your vehicle without your permission may file a claim in civil court directly against you to recover compensation.

What if Someone Else Caused the Crash?

If you allowed someone to borrow your vehicle and then they got into an accident caused by the negligent actions of another driver, then the alleged negligent driver’s insurance will generally be responsible for paying damages to the other parties involved.

However, even if it does look like another party aside from the person you let borrow your vehicle caused the incident, that does not mean you will be completely out of the woods. It is not uncommon for shared fault to arise, and individuals who are partially responsible for causing an incident can still recover compensation. In the event there is any shared fault between the parties involved, your insurance carrier may end up paying some compensation to another party.