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Liability: When Friend Crashes Your Car

When you are driving your car you are covered by your insurance policy if you were to cause an accident. You might assume that if a friend was to cause an accident with your car that his insurance will cover the damages. However, if an insured friend of yours were to cause an accident with your car then you are still stuck paying your deductible, because your liability insurance covers your car, you and anyone else using your car with your permission.

Liability insurance covers both bodily injury and physical damages, so any passengers in the vehicle including the owner are covered and any damages the car does to another's property is covered. Liability will also cover any legal fees if you were to be sued as a result of an accident. Liability insurance will not cover more then your policy and if the costs exceed the amount of the policy coverage then the court can attach your personal assets to recover the damages, such as your house.

The situation can change though if your friend is at fault and causes serious bodily injury to others and or property damage and it exceeds your policy. If this is the case then you and your friends insurance will share the cost of the accident, which is known as "pro rata". This could mean that you and your friends insurance will split the bill equally, but more then likely your insurance will cover the full amount and then seek compensation from your friends insurance for their share.

Notice I said earlier "insured friend", that is the key. If you were to lend an uninsured friend your vehicle then you are left to pay up even if the costs exceed the amount of your policy. That means that you're left to cover any remaining medical expenses and property damage expenses. So in other words your friend has left you high and dry.

Also notice that earlier i also said "your liability insurance covers your car, you and anyone else using your car with your permission." Without your permission your friends insurance will kick in first and cover the expenses and hopefully they are insured. If they are not then we are right back up in the last paragraph where your buddy has left you high and dry.

Obviously someone stealing your car does not have your permission, so you will not be held liable to damages done to others property. However, In this case though you will have to use collision insurance to have your car repaired. I wouldn't count on the criminal having insurance, let alone the money to pay for the repairs and even if he did have insurance then his company will not pay for his criminal acts.

 
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