If you own a car and someone else is borrowing it, you need to know whether you are covered in the event of an accident. After all, while you might be covered for any accident or damage under your insurance, your friend may not be.
It is best to know where you stand if a friend does have an accident while borrowing your car, just in case something goes wrong. Read on to find out what happens if you find yourself in this situation.
A friend borrowed my car and crashed it - what do I do first?
The first thing you will need to do if your friend has crashed your car is to find out what happened. You want to know who was at fault in the accident, and how it took place. This will play out later with your insurance.
- If your friend has called you from the accident, get them to gather as much information as possible.
- Get your friend to take photos of the accident and get the details of the other party who is involved in the crash.
- If your friend is stuck on the road and your car is not drivable you should arrange a tow.
You will need to know the details of the other driver, as well as your friend's driver's licence details, and whether the police attended the accident scene.
Will my insurance cover damage caused by my friend?
There are two different types of accidents: at fault accidents and not at fault accidents.
- If your friend has crashed your vehicle but they were not at fault (i.e. another driver ran into your car while your friend was driving) then you will be able to make a claim directly against the other driver, or against the other driver's insurance.
- If your friend has crashed your vehicle and they were at fault you may be able to claim against your insurance if your are covered for an additional driver, be sure to check your policy for this condition.
In some cases there may be an exclusion on your insurance which prohibits you from claiming for the damage caused by your friend. In this case you will need to recover the cost of repairs from your friend.
How do I know if my insurance covers my friend as a driver?
Before handing over the keys to your friend it is a good idea to call your insurance provider and find out about the limits on your insurance. You may be able to extend your insurance to cover an additional driver very easily over the phone.
- If your friend is under 25, your insurance may not cover younger drivers, or if they do provide cover your insurer will likely charge an additional excess to cover the repairs.
- If your friend was driving intoxicated and crashed, your insurance will likely not cover the cost of repairs.
The best step to take is to call your insurance provider and ask them directly if they cover the costs of repairs caused by other at-fault drivers. That way you know exactly where you stand.
How to approach your friend for the costs of repairs to your car
No matter the situation, whether they were at fault or not, it is likely that your friend will have to cover some of the costs, whether it is the costs of repairs for an at-fault claim, or the costs of the excess for making a claim under your insurance.
- If your friend was at fault and caused the accident, and your insurance does not cover them, they will likely have to cover the cost of repairs on their own.
- Talking about getting your friend to pay might be an awkward conversation but it is important that you deal with the matter promptly and in a straightforward way.
- Try to have the conversation without laying blame on anyone, and stick to the bare facts.
- It can help to have a quote ready to go and ready to present to them so they know what they are
If you do make a claim, this may increase the premium you have to pay on your insurance later on. You may wish to speak to your friend about the extra costs you now have to pay and discuss them taking some responsibility for this amount as well.
Get a quote on quality smash repairs today
If your friend was not at fault and you need a quote on smash repairs in Melbourne, contact Sheen. If your friend was at fault and you want a quote on repairs to know where you stand, we can help with this as well.
We are experienced smash repair providers with a commitment to putting you first and making sure that your vehicle is repaired to a pre-accident condition.
If your friend was not at fault, contact Sheen first and we can help you liaise with the other driver's insurance on your behalf.