who’s insurance is responsible in VA. when the car in accident is borrowed?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2016

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UPDATED: Jan 4, 2016Fact Checked

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Asked January 4, 2016

1 Answer

In Virginia, when a borrowed car is involved in an accident, the liability depends on the insurance coverage. The two primary financial compensation issues are 1) damage to the vehicle (collision) and 2) personal damage to other parties (liability). Even if the owner loans his car to another, he still retains liability when his car is involved in an accident.

One of the first issues is "permission." Of course, by "being borrowed," the assumption is that the owner freely gave the driver permission to operate the vehicle. If the car was taken or stolen without the owner's permission, then the owner has no liability for what takes place with said vehicle.

In Virginia, collision covers the vehicle; comprehensive (or liability) covers the driver. When you loan your automobile to a friend, you still remain liable for what happens with that automobile. It is still your car.

When signing up for your insurance coverage, you will be listed as the main driver and be asked if you want to add anyone else as drivers. Usually, you would want to add your close family members to protect everyone against liability. These are referred to as "named insured" because they are written on the physical insurance policy.

The "omnibus clause" will include any family members living with you in the same residence or away at school who are likely to have permission to drive your vehicle. These are also called "permissive drivers." The State of Virginia does not allow you to specifically "exclude certain drivers" from your insurance policy (i.e. your daughter who has numerous DWIs).

Answered January 5, 2016 by CenterStone

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