Whose Insurance Do I Use if I Crash Someone Else’s Car?

Crashing your own car, while scary, is relatively straight forward when it comes time to filing a claim. You can file a claim with your own insurer and generally receive compensation for damages and injuries you and your passengers may suffer, so long as you have the right insurance. 

But what happens if you crash someone else’s vehicle? Does your car insurance follow you? 

The answer is year and no. Initially, you should be covered under the other person’s car insurance policy. However, if their limits are reached, your own car insurance should cover the rest of your expenses. 

For example, say you cause a wreck in a friend’s car that ends up sending another driver and their passenger to the hospital. Once they have recovered from surgery, they seek compensation from you. Your friend only has minimum liability for their vehicle, which means there are thousands of dollars in medical bills you are still expected to pay. In this case, you should file a claim with your own car insurance policy. Your insurer and your friend’s insurer will generally work together to figure out who will pay what amount. Either way, you should be covered so long as you and your friend have car insurance. 

What Happens if You Crash Without Car Insurance? 

Say you crash your friend’s car but discover they do not have insurance on the vehicle. In this case, you will likely need to file a claim with your own insurance policy. If neither of you have insurance and you crash an uninsured vehicle, things can become more complicated and you could face legal repercussions for driving illegally. 

In an accident involving another person, their uninsured or underinsured motorist policy should cover their damages and injuries you may cause while driving uninsured. Otherwise, you will be expected to pay for your injuries and damages to the vehicle out of pocket. This can get expensive, especially when hospital bills are involved. 

Before getting behind the wheel of someone else’s vehicle, make sure they have car insurance. It is important that they also have more than minimum liability insurance so that you have protection in case of injuries in an accident. Also never only let those you trust drive your vehicle. They should have their own car insurance policy and a valid driver’s license, otherwise they risk not being covered.