Who's Responsible If Your Girlfriend Gets Hit by Another Driver in Your Car?
Drivers need to be prepared for all kinds of hazards on the road. They also need to consider the risks that go along with loaning their car to someone else. So what happens when your girlfriend borrows your car to run a quick errand and she gets hit by another driver along the way? Who’s responsible for this mess, anyway?
Luckily an independent insurance agent can help you regardless of who’s at fault. They’ve handled all kinds of complex claims, so they’re well suited to get you equipped with all the coverage you need, long before you’d ever need it. Here’s how they’d help you get protected against your girlfriend borrowing your car and getting hit by another driver.
Who’s Responsible If My Girlfriend Gets Hit by Another Driver in My Car?
So, your girlfriend asked to borrow your car to run a quick errand, and unfortunately got hit by another driver while she was out. Well, the other driver who ran into your girlfriend would be at fault. Your girlfriend would have a legitimate liability claim against the other driver in this scenario. However, depending on your specific state’s laws, she could also file a claim against your auto insurance to cover medical costs if she got injured in the accident.
How Does Property Damage Coverage Work in This Scenario?
If your car was damaged in the accident, the property damage liability coverage section of the other driver’s auto insurance policy would cover the costs. Property damage liability covers repairs to another person’s vehicle if you’re at fault for the accident. It also covers damage to property like fences, posts, or buildings. So, since the other driver was the one who hit your girlfriend, it would be their property damage coverage that paid for the damages.
How Does Liability Coverage Work in This Scenario?
Standard auto insurance policies include liability coverage that has two main sections: property damage liability and bodily injury liability. If someone got injured in an accident, bodily injury liability coverage would cover medical payments for the other driver and their passengers if you caused the accident. Medical payments covers doctor and hospital visits, and often emergency services such as ambulances.
In this specific scenario, since your girlfriend was borrowing your car, she could file a claim through her own auto insurance policy against your auto insurance to cover her medical costs. However, the two of you could also choose to work it out without involving insurance.
Which Coverage Would Pay for Repairs to My Car?
If your car was damaged in that accident, the other driver’s auto insurance policy would cover the costs, since they were at fault. Collision coverage included in standard auto insurance policies protects drivers from the following:
- Collisions with other vehicles
- Collisions with objects, such as trees, signposts, fences, and buildings
- Single-car accidents such as running off the road into a ditch
Even though your girlfriend was driving your car when it got damaged, the other driver was still at fault for the accident. That’s why their auto insurance coverage would kick in to cover the physical damage to your vehicle.
What Does Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?
Though you may not need it in this particular scenario, an extremely important insurance option to consider adding to your auto policy is comprehensive coverage. It reimburses drivers for hazards considered “other than collision,” including:
- Natural disasters and weather damage: Including fire, hurricanes, hail, tornadoes, and flood damage.
- Theft and vandalism: In the event your car is stolen or vandalized by keying, tagging, etc.
- Riots: In the event your vehicle is damaged due to shenanigans taking place during a riot.
- Glass breakage: In the event your windshield or windows are cracked, chipped, or shattered.
- Collision with animals: Including deer and other large animals that could cause vehicle damage. This is the only type of collision not covered under the collision section of standard auto insurance policies.
Your independent insurance agent can help you decide if adding comprehensive coverage to your auto insurance policy is the right choice for you.
What If the Other Driver Didn’t Have Any/Enough Insurance?
Well, you could end up in a bad situation if you were lacking the proper coverage in this scenario. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is an optional add-on to standard auto insurance policies. This coverage reimburses you in the event you’re hit by another driver who doesn’t have any or enough insurance to cover damage or injuries to you and/or your passengers.
Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage works a bit differently depending on the state you live in. In certain states, this coverage will not respond to a claim in the event that you don’t actually possess more insurance than they do, while in other states it would. Talk to your independent insurance agent to find out specifics of how this coverage operates in your state, and if you should add it to your auto policy.
How Would This Incident Affect My Premium?
Sadly, a single accident can affect your auto insurance premium, even if you or the person who borrowed your car weren’t at fault. Several factors influence how much your premium cost may rise, like your specific vehicle, driving record, and location. That being said, on average, auto insurance premiums rise about 7% following a not-at-fault accident. While this isn’t a huge amount, it can still be enough to be noticeable.
Other Common Risks All Drivers Should Consider Getting Coverage for
Letting your girlfriend or anyone else borrow your car isn’t the only risk you need to consider as a responsible driver. Here are a few of the most common auto insurance claims that all drivers should consider getting protection against:
- Theft: Whether it’s stored in a secure garage or left on the street, your car can still be stolen. Comprehensive auto insurance reimburses a vehicle’s owner for the replacement value of the car if it’s stolen.
- Vandalism: Cars can be vandalized in many ways, from getting tires slashed to getting broken into. Physical damage to affected vehicles would be covered under comprehensive auto insurance.
- Damaged windshields: Windshields can be damaged by many different hazards, including someone’s lawnmower kicking up a rock. Comprehensive auto insurance would protect you in this case.
- Rear-end collisions: The most common car insurance claims, by far, are rear-end collisions. Since you’re not at fault if you get rear-ended, the collision insurance section of your auto policy will reimburse you for your vehicle’s damage.
- Hail damage: Hail can absolutely destroy vehicles in a severe storm. If you live in an area prone to hailstorms, you’ll want to have comprehensive auto insurance to protect you.
Your independent insurance agent will listen to all your concerns about protecting your vehicle from these perils, as well as any unforeseen hazards. They’ll help you get all the coverage you need, long before you ever need it.
Here’s How an Independent Insurance Agent Would Help
When it comes to protecting drivers against accidents that occur when they’ve loaned their car to someone else and all other perils, no one’s better equipped to help than an independent insurance agent. These agents search through multiple carriers to find providers who specialize in auto insurance, deliver quotes from a number of different sources, and walk you through them all to find the best blend of coverage and cost.
TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin
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