Demystifying claims: when someone else damages your car

If someone borrows your car and they get into an accident, do you know who’s responsible for the damages? What if your car is damaged while you’re on vacation? Here are two examples that help explain where the responsibility lies.

Family ties
At your annual family reunion, your brother-in-law volunteers to go for supplies. Your car is the last one parked at the end of the driveway, so you loan your car to him. On his way back from the store, he runs off the road, hitting a hydro pole and a fence. Fortunately, no one is hurt.

Because your brother-in-law had your permission to drive your car, your auto policy will pay for the damages to the hydro pole and fence. If the damage is not fully covered by your policy, your brother-in-law's policy may cover some of the remaining costs.

Travel troubles
It’s late February and you’re heading for a week away at a sunny destination. You park your car at the airport. A few days later, you receive a phone call from the local police back home. Your car was stolen from the airport; the driver, who smashed into a convenience store, was caught and will be charged with theft. The comprehensive coverage you purchased will pay for the damage to your car, but what about the damage to the convenience store? Is your insurance going to have to pay for that damage, too?

In this case, the thief would have to pay the convenience store repairs. Courts have ruled that vehicle owners are not responsible for damages caused by the driver of that vehicle who did not have permission to use it.

Not every scenario is as clear as these. In some cases, express consent is not given, but implied. Our Claims Representatives investigate each situation thoroughly to ensure your Auto policy is applied properly.

Have a specific question about claims? Let us know any time. We’re always happy to help you understand our services.