Car owners don’t think twice about it — they regularly hand their car keys over to valets, parking lot attendants, mechanics and car wash staffers. But what happens if a stranger damages your vehicle?
There really aren’t any statistics on how many drivers allow strangers to take the wheel of their vehicles. Or maybe they’re not strangers.
Who hasn’t let a family member or friend borrow your car for a trip to the corner market or needed transportation for a job interview?
If that driver wasn’t on your insurance policy, but caused damage to your car anyway, here's what you can expect.
By and large, car insurance covers the car, but not the driver. That leaves the onus on you, the owner of the vehicle, if an accident happens when you’re not behind the wheel if a friend or family member causes damage to your vehicle (and/or somebody else’s).
You can also expect the following events to take place if your car is damaged without you in the driver’s seat:
Your auto insurance rates will rise. Auto accidents can impact your auto insurance rates, anyway. But when an insurer gets wind of the fact that it wasn’t the policyholder who was driving, they’ll likely raise rates based on the premise that drivers who are loose with their keys are riskier to insure.
A stolen car situation won’t impact you. Auto insurance companies only hold you accountable for drivers who get in fender-benders (or worse) and have permission to drive your car. So if your car is stolen, and winds up in a crash, you won’t be held accountable.