Dealing With a Borrowed Car Accident

What happens when your car is involved in an accident, but another person was driving it when it happened? Many vehicle owners are confused about whose insurance will cover the damages in a borrowed car accident.

In South Carolina, car insurance typically follows the car. Consequently, if you permitted another person to use your vehicle and got involved in a car accident, your insurance will serve as the primary coverage. The other person’s insurance will be the second option if needed.

If you are facing a similar car accident situation, contact a South Carolina auto accident attorney. It would be best to discuss your options with an experienced auto accident lawyer about the steps you can follow to fully cover your damages in a borrowed car accident.

Auto Liability Insurance

The auto liability insurance that all South Carolina drivers are obliged to carry consists of three parts:

  • Bodily injury liability
  • Property damage liability
  • Uninsured motorist coverage

This insurance type follows the driver, even when they drive a borrowed car. In case you permitted another person to drive your car and got involved in a car accident, your auto insurance will cover the damages. You will have to file a claim to your insurer to pay the damages, and consequently, your rates will spike up. If your damages exceed your policy, then the policy of the person you lent your car will take it from there.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

The comprehensive and collision coverage insurance do not follow the driver. This policy usually covers anything that may happen to your insured car, from accidents to vandalism. The rates and costs for these coverages are higher than the standard liability coverage. Nevertheless, it may not cover the vehicle’s damages if operated by someone else instead of you. There are preconditions, like who is listed as a covered driver under your policy. Most often, coverage includes family members like the spouse and children.

Permissive Drivers

An essential aspect of an insurance policy is whether you permitted the other person to drive your vehicle. The person you give permission to drive your car is called a permissive driver. Usually, there is a provision in your auto insurance policy covering any driver, as long as you gave them your permission to do so. It would help if you also kept in mind that specific policies are reduced when any permissive driver drives your vehicle.

Of course, you always have the choice to exclude specific people from your car insurance policy. If someone in your family environment has a poor driver’s record, you can exclude them from your policy. So, if they get involved in a car collision while borrowing your car, they will have to rely on their insurance policy to cover the damages.

Moreover, the car owner cannot be held liable for the damages if the car was taken without permission. However, proving that you did not give your permission can be challenging, and you may be found responsible for the damages anyway.

Non-Permissive Drivers

Cases that it is obvious that you did not give your permission to another driver to use your car are some of the following:

  • Your car was stolen – In the scenario that your vehicle was stolen, you cannot be held liable for the injuries and damages caused by the accident. However, your car’s damages will probably be covered by your insurance policy.
  • A family member or a friend was driving your vehicle – If you can prove that they drove your car without your permission, their insurance policy will be the primary coverage. Your own will be used in the case that the damages in the borrowed car accident exceed that amount.
  • Uninsured driver used your car – If a friend took your vehicle without your permission and got in a car crash, your insurance policy will have to cover the damages.

Your Insurance Policy’s Specifics

It is crucial to understand your insurance policy’s details when you are about to lend your car to someone else. Car insurance policies differ from one another. First of all, you need to clarify whether the person borrowing your vehicle will be covered under your car insurance, and then if your insurance follows the car or the driver. Some policies cover only the drivers listed on it. Other policies include a provision based on whether the other driver lives under the same roof as the car owner.

Contact a car accident lawyer in Greenville, SC

Figuring out insurance after a car accident is not a simple matter. If you need help with a car accident claim, call us at Brumback and Langley, and our car accident injury lawyers will review your case for free. Contact us today for your free consultation to discuss your auto accident case’s details and help you recover your damages.