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My friend had an accident while driving my car. Am I covered?

Auto Insurance

By Joanne Lemna | August 14, 2016

Your friend’s car is in the shop for the weekend and they ask to borrow yours to get to work and get groceries. You agree, wanting to help a friend out. Not a problem, right?

Saturday afternoon, you get a phone call. Your friend has been an accident involving your vehicle. They’re okay, but your car is pretty banged up. Now what?

You’re lending your car and your insurance.

Whenever you lend your car to someone you are also lending your car insurance. The insurance follows the vehicle. So even if you’re not driving, it’s your car insurance that will respond if your vehicle is involved in an accident.

You’ll need to submit the claim through your insurance.

But my friend has car insurance!

Your friend had car insurance – why isn’t their policy covering the costs? Your vehicle isn’t listed on their policy, it’s on your own car insurance. Car insurance is attached to the vehicle, which is why it’s your policy that will respond.

What does that mean for your insurance?

If your friend is determined to be at fault (if they’re driving in an at-fault province), you will now have an accident on your insurance record and your rates will likely increase. Your insurance will respond as per the coverage you have. For example, if you only have liability coverage, this will only cover damage and medical costs for the others involved in the accident if your friend was at fault. Your vehicle won’t be covered unless you have collision coverage.

If your friend isn’t at fault or the fault is partial, the other parties’ involved may cover the damage. It will depend on the individual situation.

Before you lend your car

There’s a lot at stake when you lend your car. For that reason, it’s wise to think twice and double-check information before handing over the keys. For instance:

  • Check your policy or call your independent insurance broker to get the specifics on the terms conditions and any restrictions of your car insurance coverage. You want to make sure you won’t be out-of-pocket should something unexpected happen.
  • Make sure that your friend has a valid driver’s license.
  • Double-check to make sure your friend has a current car insurance policy.
  • Verify that your registration and insurance information are in your glove box. Your friend will need this should a collision occur.

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