A vehicle owner might wonder about the potential consequences of allowing another person to drive his vehicle. The possibility of an auto accident caused by other drivers other than those listed on the car insurance policy is a very real concern. A car insurance policy usually lists the insured drivers who are members of the policyholder's household or who regularly drive the insured's vehicle. However, you may wonder what would happen if you were to allow a relative not living with you or a friend to operate your vehicle.
Some auto insurance companies offer car insurance policies which excludes either specific individuals or all other drivers who are not specifically listed on the policy. If you have a policy with such restrictions, then it would be an unwise decision to allow an excluded driver to operate your vehicle. If the excluded driver were to have a car accident, then your car insurance company would most likely open a coverage investigation. Under such circumstances, your auto insurance company may determine that there is no coverage under the car insurance policy. Your claim could be denied, and you could wind up being personally responsible for all of the other party's damages.
Policies without Exclusions
If you are the policyholder of a car insurance policy that does not excluded other drivers, then it is acceptable to allow another person to drive your car. Bear in mind that insurance follows the vehicle. If the other person should have a car accident while operating your automobile, your accident would fall under your policy. Even if the driver of your vehicle has their own insurance, your policy would be primary insurance, and the driver's policy would be secondary insurance.
If the driver of your vehicle were the primary cause of the accident, it means that the registered owner of the car is legally liable for damages caused to other parties. Your insurance company will be interested in verifying that you gave the driver of your car permission to operate it. Once it is established that the driver of your car is a permissive driver, and then your car insurance policy would pay for property damage and injuries up to the policy limit. Of course, if your vehicle was stolen or taken without your permission, then it becomes a whole different matter entirely.
Loaning another person your vehicle is a serious matter, and a decision that should not be undertaken lightly. There are very real and lasting consequences to allowing other drivers to operate your vehicle. Be aware of the terms, restrictions and exclusions of your car insurance policy before incurring the risks associated with letting someone else drive your vehicle.