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Who is liable when a borrowed car is in an accident?

You may have no problem loaning your vehicle to a friend or family member. You may trust him or her to drive safely and have no concerns. However, accidents happen every day even to people who are good drivers in Washington. What happens, then, if you loan your vehicle to someone and that person causes an accident? Who is responsible for paying for the damages? The reality, according to Insure.com, is that you will likely be the one paying the costs.

There are only a couple of situations where you could get out of being liable for an accident involving your vehicle. First, if you didn’t give the person permission to drive your car, then you are not usually going to be liable. The second situation is if your friend or family member was not the one who caused the accident. In any other situation, you will usually be liable and your car insurance will be stuck paying the bills.

In some cases, though, your insurance will not cover the damages or all the costs related to the accident.  For example, if the person who borrowed your car does not have a license, your insurance probably will not cover the costs related to an accident because most policies contain language that excludes non-licensed drivers from being covered. Another situation is if the damages caused were more than the amount of coverage you have through your insurance. You would be responsible for paying for any costs exceeding your coverage limits. This information is only intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.