“Hey, you can drive my car for your errands.”
So your friend or family member just got her driver’s license but doesn’t have a car to run errands. How best should you ask her to drive your car, and what should you do to ensure you, the car, and she are protected?
Having someone take care of your property the same way you would is tricky, and a car is an expensive investment that needs insurance. Each insurance company sets comprehensive rules on what each insurance policy covers. Even though lending your car to friends is a lovely gesture, we have compiled a list of things you should consider before giving her the keys to your car.
Do You Have Car Insurance?
When driving a car, you’re required to have an active car insurance policy. Traffic police officers are usually vigilant about checking for them. Driving without auto insurance coverage may lead you to have your license suspended. You may also have your vehicle impounded, get a ticket or make you solely responsible for any accidents that happen while you’re uncovered.
Does She Have a Valid Driver’s License?
States require you to drive a vehicle with a valid driver’s license. Before lending someone your car, physically confirm that they have a drivers’ license and that it isn’t expired, revoked, or suspended. Driving without it is illegal in most states and can draw many penalties. Your coverage may also not cover someone driving your car without a license.
Is She in Your Auto Insurance Coverage?
You can add people, be it a spouse, friends, family members, or people living under your household, in your insurance policy. This means that they are adequately covered in case of an accident during a loan. Different insurers will have varying policies, and drivers that aren’t in your policy may be covered in case
- An extended family member has come to visit you at your home.
- When people close to you borrow your car while their’s is at the mechanic.
- When you have to co-drive during long trips.
Does She Have Her Own Insurance Policy?
Suppose your friend has her own liability car insurance coverage. In that case, her insurance company will cover peripheral things such as medical care. However, if your car suffers damages, then yours will come into play.
Where is She Driving To?
If your friend is driving someone else’s vehicle to a location out of the country, then that may be a problem. Study your policy for caveat against crossing the border to another country. This should especially be a worry if you live near Canada or Mexico. If you have any concerns, contact your insurance company for directions.
Does Your Car Have Collision Insurance?
Collision insurance is usually optional auto insurance coverage for vehicles with complete payments, and you’ll have to pay more money for it. The policy should replace or repair your car if it has collided with another or hit an object such as a wall or tree. An insurance company usually pays for this damage if the vehicle is being driven by an insured driver, saving you a lot of expenses.
Clear the Air
It would be best if you went through a pertinent conversation before letting other drivers borrow your cars, regardless of how close you are to them. Topics to discuss include:
- If an accident happens and the vehicle faces some minor damage while driving, who will be covering the bill to fix it?
- Who will fill the borrowed car while she drives it, and do you expect the car fuelled when returned to you?
- Who will clean the car?
- What type of vehicle is it, manual transmission or automatic? If manual, can she drive stick?
- Is borrowing a car going to be a frequent occurrence?
Who Won’t Be Covered by Your Policy?
There are instances where your policy can’t cover a driver. These include:
If She’s Paying to Use Your Car
If she’ll be using your car and paying you a fee during the duration of use, then she’s not covered by your insurance policy. Confirm which auto insurance policy you need to take to protect her with your insurance company.
Drivers Not in Your Insurance Cover
Many states place partial coverage on drivers excluded from your insurance, but generally, your policy won’t cover those not on your list of approved drivers. The best way to protect yourself is to discuss your options with your auto insurance company and find a suitable answer.
When Using Your Car for Commercial Purposes
Suppose you’re lending her the vehicle to run a business, for example, a taxi business, pizza delivery, or offering package delivery services. In that case, your car insurance company will most likely refuse to cover incidents when such vehicles are in business. These types of businesses require a different kind of cover.
When Sharing Your Vehicle…
- Ensure that the friend borrowing is a good driver with no moving violations, tickets, or recent car accidents.
- Ensure that she’s not hiding anything suspect in your car in places like the glove compartment or boot.
- Read your policy thoroughly and consult widely with your agent.
- If she is borrowing your car frequently, consider adding her to your insurance policy.
- If she’s going to be driving long distances, ensure that she knows good safety tips, for example, resting in parking lots.
- Bad car decisions can lead to financial disarray. As the car owner, if you feel uncomfortable at any time, retrieve your car keys. You will be protecting her, your car, and your financial future.
Will Your Insurance Coverage Cover the Vehicle and Driver?
Car insurance is tricky because there’s no standard for every provider. Generally, some coverages will cover the vehicle while others protect the drivers. Your insurance company will use several criteria to determine how much they’ll cover in case of an accident. This criteria will include whether your friend is in your insurance policy or had your permission to drive.
Insurance policies differ, and the amount of money you pay will determine how much they’ll cover you. If you’re looking to let your friends drive your car, you should perhaps purchase a more appropriate car insurance coverage.
Policy terms and state laws vary, and you should always contact your insurance agent to get the relevant details and tips before making decisions, such as lending your friend a car. Because the vehicle is in your name, exercise wisdom and common sense before giving another person your car keys.