You’ve been a diligent driver. Your car is registered in beautiful St. George, Utah and your car insurance has you fully covered if you’re ever in an auto accident. But what happens if your car is in an accident and you’re not the driver? What do you do if your cousin Bianca wrecks your car? Before you call your lawyer, here are a few guidelines on how insurance coverage works with other drivers.
Insurance Follows the Car, Not the Driver
Technically, you’re not insured — your car is. When filling out your insurance information, you are asked who is an eligible driver in your household. With a few exceptions, everyone you put down is covered as a driver for your car; however, this only applies if you have them on the insurance. If your son turns 16 and gets his driver’s license, as is the legal age in St. George, a lawyer will tell you to get him added on to your insurance immediately. Nothing makes an auto accident worse than if everyone walks away and you find out your insurance won’t cover it.
Outside Friends and Family
If the person driving your car is not part of your household, don’t call your lawyer yet. In this case, the insurance still applies to the car with the alternate driver’s insurance acting as a supplement. Say your best friend needs to borrow your four-door to haul the new table she just picked up; if an auto accident happens, first your insurance steps in and covers the damage up to your deductible, then if there’s any left over her insurance takes over and covers the rest. It can be complicated, but its best to assume that if the other party has car insurance everything will work out fine.
A Borrowed or Stolen Car
In the rare case that your car is stolen off the streets of St. George, you are not liable for any damage to property or other vehicles. Your car insurance will have to cover any damage to your vehicle. If a friend or family member not on your insurance borrows the car without your permission, then any damage is on their coverage — and yours will fill in the gaps. A warning though — if you neglect a driver from your insurance that lives inside your home and he does not have his own insurance, you will be held liable for all damages in an auto accident. That’s the time to call your lawyer, as well as find some other living arrangements. St. George has plenty of places for people who wreck other people’s cars without insurance.