In New York State, your car insurance policy follows the car and not you as the driver, so it does cover other drivers. This holds true for NY specific coverage requirements of bodily injury liability, property damage, personal injury protection (PIP) and supplementary uninsured/underinsured motorist protection (SUM).
What If Someone Borrows My Vehicle and Causes an Accident?
If you let someone borrow your car and they cause an accident for which they are at-fault your property damage coverage will pay for the damage to the other vehicles and/or inanimate objects. Bodily injury liability will help to pay for any injuries to the other drivers and passengers.
It’s important to keep in mind that if the damages exceed the limits that you have on your own policy and the driver who borrowed your car has their own coverage, their policy can act as second in line to cover the excess once your limits are exhausted.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage also follows the vehicle and helps to cover medical expenses for injuries to anyone in the vehicle regardless of who’s at fault in a crash.
Comprehensive and Collision Coverage
New York State does not require drivers to carry comprehensive and collision coverage on their vehicles. If you don’t carry this coverage and someone borrows your vehicle causing damage to it in an accident, you will not receive reimbursement from the insurance company for your own car’s repair or replacement. Unless the person who borrowed your car ponies up to pay for the damage, you will be solely responsible for the repairs or replacement of your vehicle.
What if I Didn’t Give Permission For Someone To Drive My Car?
If someone you know or don’t know drives your car without your permission, your insurance company will not cover damages resulting from a crash.
Am I Covered For a Licensed Driver Living In My Household But Not On My Policy?
Insurance companies want to know about all licensed drivers in a household. Any household driver not listed and rated on a policy has regular access to policy vehicles and could cause an accident.
Sometimes, household drivers are not listed on a policy because of a bad driving record or because they are young drivers and can cause premiums to increase significantly. Those who try to save money in this fashion can run into a heap of trouble if that unlisted driver causes a crash resulting in heavy damages.
Say for instance, you have a licensed teenager living with you but not included on your car insurance policy. The teenager uses your car and gets in a crash where someone suffers a major injury resulting in an injury claim of a million dollars. The insurance company could decide to cancel your policy or worse yet, deny the claim, leaving you on the hook for a huge amount of money.
The moral of the story is make sure to list all licensed drivers in your household on your NY car insurance policy or to make sure any unlisted drivers have their own insurance and disclose that information to your insurance company. The risk of significant financial loss is just too great to hide a driver.
Be careful lending your car to someone else because they are not only borrowing your vehicle they are borrowing your insurance as well.
If you have any questions regarding auto, home and business insurance options, please contact us, we’re always glad to help. The NY Insurance Hub serves Albany, Schenectady, Troy, Latham, Cohoes, Watervliet, Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs, surrounding Capital Region areas and all of New York State from NYC to Buffalo.