Are Household Members Covered by My Policy?
Most of us have driven a friend of family member’s car from time to time. Maybe yours is in the shop, or you’re on a long road trip and you’re helping drive, or maybe you’re even the designated driver ensuring everyone gets home safely. While all of these scenarios are reasonable and even admirable, understanding whether or not you’re covered while driving someone else’s car is crucially important.
Car insurance covers the car, not the driver. If you lend out your car to a friend and they find themselves in a wreck, you could be held liable for the damage. For example, let’s say you let your friend Bob borrow your car for a week. If Bob gets into an accident, you’ll be the one who needs to file an insurance claim. You’ll also need to pay the deductible and contend with a possible rate increase. Bob, on the other hand, will need to cover any personal liability or medical expenses.
Does this change when you lend your car to a member of your household? The answer depends on your insurance policy. Generally speaking, your insurance policy should include all household members over driving age. Even if your roommate is a petite girl who will never drive your huge SUV, including her on the policy is a good idea. Why? Should you purposefully exclude her and allow her to borrow your car even once, any accident she gets into will not be covered by your insurance policy.
The bottom line? If anyone in your household might drive your car even once (like in an emergency situation), they should be added to your insurance policy. While it might be a pain to see a bump in your monthly insurance premium, you’ll regret it later if you don’t.
Our Virginia Car Accident Lawyers Can Protect You
We strongly advise you not to speak with insurance companies until you’ve contacted a Virginia car accident lawyer. You may inadvertently say something that could negatively impact your settlement. Once hired, we become your first line of defense – insurance companies will have to go through our team in order to get to you.