If I Get Into a Car Accident In Someone Else’s Car, Will My Insurance Cover It?
Last updated Friday, September 22nd, 2023
Find the Most Efficient Way to Get Your Injury Settlement
Getting into a car accident can be nerve-wracking. But you often end up facing more stress getting your insurance payout after the accident.
Things only get more complicated when others are involved in the crash, especially if you’re a passenger in someone else’s car.
How will you get your insurance settlement now? Can you file a claim against the driver’s insurance?
There’s no point getting into unnecessary conflicts when you have the necessary insurance coverage. If you’re prepared to take the right steps, you can get compensated for your injuries and damages.
At Isaacs and Isaacs, our team of knowledgeable personal injury lawyers has helped several passengers in car accidents get comfortably compensated.
In this article, you’ll discover the most efficient way to get your injury settlement.
Insurance Follows the Vehicle, Not the Driver
Here’s the general rule for car insurance coverage – it is tied to your car, not the driver. So if you get into an accident in someone else’s car, the insurance coverage of the car owner will come into play.
Here’s how the process of settlement may play out:
- The car owner’s collision coverage will pay the repair costs for the car
- The car owner’s liability coverage will pay for the injuries of anyone involved in the crash
So if the driver owns the car that you were riding in when it crashed, you can file a claim against their insurance to cover your damages. This principle forms the basis of most insurance claims involving accidents in someone else’s car.
Exceptions to the Rule: No Permission and Excluded Drivers
Is it fair to hold the owner of a car liable when they hadn’t given permission to the driver to use their vehicle? No. That’s why the standard rule of filing a claim against the car owner’s coverage won’t apply here.
You can only hold the owner liable if they have given permission to the driver to use their car.
So who will cover your losses now? In this case, the liability shifts to the driver using the vehicle without permission. You can file a claim against their auto insurance.
You may have to turn to your own uninsured driver coverage in case the driver is uninsured or underinsured.
No insurance company wants to cough up all the damages. They will try to recover damages from the liable driver’s coverage even if your policy can cover it.
Here are a few more exceptions to the standard rule of liability:
- If a household member is excluded from your policy coverage and crashes your car, your insurance provider will probably deny any claims.
- If a stolen car gets into an accident, the owner’s policy won’t cover your damages.
- If a friend or family member drives your car without your consent and the damages exceed their policy limit, your policy can cover the exceeding costs.
Section 4: Permission to Drive Equals Owner’s Insurance Coverage
It’s better to have a clear understanding of what qualifies as permissive use than to get into arguments with your loved ones later. An accident shouldn’t become the source of conflict in your close relationships.
The driver and owner can point fingers at each other all they want. But insurance companies are only interested in one thing – did the driver have permission to use the vehicle or not?
Here are some common scenarios where the driver is considered to have permission:
- Driving your friend’s or relative’s car with their permission
- Borrowing a car while your own car is getting repaired
- Taking turns to drive the car during a long road trip
- Asking someone to teach you how to drive in your car
- A commercial driver operating on the clock
The car owner’s insurance policy should cover the accident-related damage in such cases. So it’s essential to set boundaries about who can drive your car to avoid insurance coverage issues. Otherwise, you may end up with an unexpected financial burden and strain your relationships.
Section 5: Exploring Permission Scenarios
Here are three types of permission scenarios you should know about:
- Implied permission – Members from the same household usually maintain a shared consent for the use of most of their resources. For instance, a mother may have given permission to her son to use the car for grocery shopping. However, the son may not have asked for permission on the day he was involved in an accident. It doesn’t change the fact that he had permission. Implied permission isn’t easily obvious to prove. It may require a close understanding of the relationship between the driver and owner along with the circumstances.
- Listed on policy – If any family member included in your policy coverage caused the accident, your insurance will have to cover the damages. You have to explicitly exclude them from your policy to avoid liability for their actions.
- Express permission – Express permission is clearer and more obvious than implied permission. The car owner makes their intent to allow another driver to use their vehicle perfectly clear.
Section 6: Coverage for Household Members and Listed Drivers
- Delve deeper into insurance coverage for household members and drivers listed on the policy.
- Explain how residing in the same household can automatically extend coverage to the driver.
- Clarify the significance of being listed on the insurance policy and its impact on coverage.
What happens when you apply for an auto insurance policy? Your provider will ask you to list all household members, including:
- Children near driving age
- Any other family members living in your home
It’s an important part of your disclosure process to share this information. Your insurance provider will ask you questions about who actively drives your car and who has their own car. They’ll categorize your household members accordingly to give you the right quote.
Your coverage will be extended to any members living in your household. The only exception will be if you have explicitly excluded someone from your policy coverage while applying for it.
Section 7: Understanding the Express Permission Scenario
Express permission is a lot like informed consent. There is a verbal or written agreement between the car owner and the driver to use the vehicle.
Let’s say your friend asks you if she can borrow your car to transport her wedding guests. A simple yes is good enough to qualify as express permission.
Here are some common scenarios covering express permission:
- You allow your friend to test drive your new car
- You give your friend permission to drive your car because you’re feeling ill
- You allow your friend to borrow your car for a weekend trip
As long as they have your verbal or written permission, your insurance coverage is on the line when an accident happens.
Section 8: Vehicle Owner’s Ability to Exclude Drivers
You can protect your collision and liability coverage by excluding certain drivers from your insurance policy. So you won’t have to compromise your insurance if they crash your car. They’ll have to use their own coverage to cover the damages.
You should exclude a household member only if you’re sure they won’t be using your vehicle. Your insurance won’t be able to cover any accident caused by an excluded driver. You have to express this to them clearly before actually listing their name in your policy to avoid any misunderstanding.
It’s possible that their history of accidents or safety violations could raise your insurance premium rates. Excluding them from your policy can get you a better deal. You can fill out a driver exclusion form provided by your car insurance provider. However, a few states don’t allow you to exclude any household member of driving age from your policy coverage.
Here are the nine US states that prohibit you from listing excluded drivers in your policy coverage:
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
Section 9: Addressing Excluded Driver Situations and Liability
What happens if an excluded driver crashes your car? If the excluded driver was at fault, they’ll be liable to cover the damages to your car or anyone injured in the accident. However, if another driver is at fault, you can file a claim against their coverage to get compensated for your losses.
It’s possible that the excluded driver may be uninsured or poorly insured. In that case, the injured party can file a claim against their own uninsured motorist coverage.
The more parties involved in an accident, the more complex your insurance process will be. It’s best to consult knowledgeable car accident injury lawyers to help you establish liability clearly.