Not necessarily. It depends on whether your particular auto insurance policy covers permissive drivers.
If you lent someone your car and that person causes an accident, that person is known as the at-fault driver.
Under Texas traffic and liability laws, at-fault drivers must pay for injuries and property damage (car repairs, street lights) resulting from the accidents they cause. The person who borrowed your car will be responsible for paying those damages.
Your insurance might help the at-fault driver pay for injuries and damage they caused. But it depends on the terms of the particular insurance policy in your case.
Auto insurance policies usually include a list of people who are allowed to drive the vehicle. These are insured drivers, and the policy will cover most accidents they cause while driving the insured vehicle.
However, many auto insurance companies in Texas also offer policies that allow the owner to lend the vehicle to a non-insured driver. The driver who borrows the vehicle (with permission) is known as a permissive driver.
Many Texas auto insurance policies will cover accidents caused by permissive drivers, even though they are not named insured drivers. However, this coverage usually costs more, and many people do not purchase it.
Before lending out your vehicle, speak to your insurance company and make sure your policy covers permissive drivers.
Keep in mind that liability insurance covers damages and injuries to the other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
Even if a permissive driver who borrowed your car is covered by the policy, your insurance will not pay to fix your car. Unless you have a special policy, it will not pay for the permissive driver’s injuries.
Before you lend out your vehicle, you may want to purchase additional insurance to cover damages to your vehicle or anyone riding in your car. This includes:
PIP covers damage to the insured person, even if that person caused the accident. Your insurance company must offer PIP under Texas law. You do not have to purchase it, but it may be a good idea in case you cause an Austin auto accident.
Many PIP policies will cover injuries to passengers in your vehicle while you were driving. However PIP may not cover a driver who borrowed you car if you were not in the vehicle. Before lending out your car, ask your insurance company if your PIP policy applies to permissive drivers.
Uninsured / Underinsured motorist coverage will pay for your injuries and repairs if the at-fault driver does not have enough insurance or money to pay your bills. This coverage sometimes covers accidents caused by permissive drivers. Check with your insurance company.
Many medical payments insurance policies cover your medical bills, even if you caused the accident. In most cases, this will not cover injuries to permissive drivers, but check the details of your own insurance policy.
Collision Insurance will pay for repairs to your vehicle, even if you caused the accident. In many cases it will cover accidents caused by permissiver drivers, but speak to your insurance company before lending out your car.
You should always check your insurance policy and understand your rights and obligations before lending your vehicle to another driver.
If that driver has an accident, you might be negatively affected. This could include civil and even criminal penalties. If you did not maintain your vehicle properly (worn tires, broken safety lights), you could be legally responsible for injuries caused by that vehicle.
Find out more here. And if someone borrowed your vehicle and was involved in an accident, speak to an Austin car accident attorney at Justinian & Associates
We offer a free consultation with a seasoned personal injury lawyer. No obligation.