Can I be sued if car is in her name but insurance is in mine in an at fault accident?

UPDATED: Jul 1, 2015

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Asked July 1, 2015

1 Answer

The short answer is no. However, there are scenarios that can affect your premiums.

Let’s say your son, who lives in Colorado and is visiting for the holidays, offers to drive your car to the store to pick up some last minutes items needed for Thanksgiving dinner. He is covered under his own policy. He gets distracted by the radio and plows into a mailbox. Definitely his fault, but who’s insurance pays? Under this scenario, since Son has insurance coverage of his own, his insurance is responsible for paying the claim and repairing the mailbox and other property damage. If you have collision coverage, you will be responsible for paying the deductible for repairs. Your rates may increase, but there will be no "at fault" charges on your record.

Another common scenario that arises is when couples, who aren’t married, and have their own insurance which does not list their other half as a driver. They drive their significant others' car and are involved in an accident. If Significant Other 1 just borrowed the car because theirs had a dead battery and they needed to get to work and rear ended another car, their insurance would cover the damage as specified in the first scenario.
It gets murky if couples often drive each others' vehicles. Most insurers consider someone a driver for policy purposes if a person drives a vehicle more than 30 days per year. If Significant Other 1 drives Significant Other 2’s car a couple of times per week, chances are Significant Other 2’s insurance will "rate" SO 1 as a driver and consider it an "at fault" event for purposes of the policy.

As for being sued, the vast majority of insurance companies have attorneys who represent the insured and pay any damages to the injured party. Insurers are notoriously tight with their money and will seek every avenue to minimize their exposure and that of their customer.

To quickly sum up, you will get points on your license and probably face increased premiums, but you won’t be sued.

Answered July 9, 2015 by Anonymous

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