If you’re worried about what will happen when you lend your car to someone else, you can breathe a sigh of relief. In New York, there is a state-specific law that allows your car insurance policy to follow your car.
That said, you must have state-required property damage liability coverage and personal injury protection (PIP) insurance. This will also apply if you are driving someone else’s car. Car accident lawyer NYC | Isaacson, Schiowitz & Korson can help if someone else was behind the wheel of your car at the time of an accident.
What Happens When Someone Borrows My Car and Gets in an Accident?
If you allowed someone to use your car and they cause an accident, your insurance should cover the damages to other vehicles and property. Since New York is a no-fault insurance state, any injured parties will file claims with the insurer that was covering the vehicle they were driving. In other words, whoever was driving your car and any passengers at the time would file a no-fault claim through your insurance.
If you have collision and comprehensive coverage in your policy, any damage to your car will be covered. However, this is an optional feature for insurance in the state. If you did not purchase it as part of your policy, you’ll be paying for your repairs out of pocket.
In the event that whoever borrowed your car didn’t cause the crash, you should show proof of someone else’s negligence. Then the other driver will be responsible for paying for your repairs.
When Your Insurance Won’t Cover Other Drivers of Your Vehicle
There are exceptions to New York’s laws on insurance covering your car when it is involved in an accident while someone else is driving. Your insurance will not cover anyone who was not granted permission to drive your car or was driving it out of the limits of your permission.
For example, if someone stole your car and got in a wreck, your insurance will not cover this. Nor would they cover an accident if the person you allowed to drive the car was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Additionally, you should check your insurance policy to ensure it allows permissive use. Some carriers do not cover this, though they may cover damages. Every driver should know what is and isn’t included in their insurance policy. You may find that your insurance will cover it but in a limited way. Expect that your deductible will increase when you file this type of claim.
What to Do If Someone Borrowed Your Car and Had an Accident?
Things can get complicated quickly when someone else borrows your car and gets into an accident. Even when they have your permission, handling the damages and injuries can add to your stress. If you’re not sure what to do or the accident was not caused by your friend or family member, you should consult a car accident attorney to find out the next steps to take.