Unfortunate accidents often happen unexpectedly. Just when you are being worry-free and loaning your car to a family member or friend, you'll receive a call that they crashed your car. Now, you wonder: who pays for collision repair? Here are some collision tips for when someone else was driving your car.
Liability and Coverage
The first thing you do is to determine the liability and who's at fault with the crash. If it is certain that the person driving your car is not at fault, it is the other driver's coverage that will pay for the collision repair. In this case, your car insurance will be unaffected. Otherwise, if the person who borrowed your car is at fault, you may be able to pay for collision repair using your car's primary coverage. It should be noted that a car insurance policy covers the vehicle and not the driver. Likewise, paying for the damages to another driver would also be your liability coverage.
Collision Insurance Coverage
When a permissive driver or a driver who you permitted to drive your car crashes your car, your insurance will normally pay for collision repair costs, while you pay for the deductible. Most car insurers include your family members or most of the people in your household unless you "exclude" some of them. If the one driving your car is among your "excluded" drivers, then your insurance company will not pay for the collision repair costs. Thus, if you're thinking that you are saving money for excluding some household members to your car insurance policy, you might want to re-think your decision. After all, sharing one car among family members happens very often.
Negotiating with the Driver
You can also negotiate with the friend who borrows your car. For one, if the damages exceed the limit of your car's primary coverage, the driver's coverage will be tapped as the secondary one. Yet, in an effort to avoid any other complications such as having your insurance rates go up, you may agree to pay for the collision repair using your own funds together. While this may work for minor damages, this setup is not advisable for larger damages. Collision repair expenses tend to be much higher with worse damages, outweighing any changes in your present premium.
Finding a Good Collision Repair Shop
Finally, this is a situation where you really need to find a reasonable collision repair shop. Their estimate will include a bill for the full extent of damage, but you might work with them to get more affordable services that address the most critical parts of the damage first.
Collision repair is expensive and that's why your car insurance policy is there to have you covered during such emergencies. Generally, a car insurance policy covers your vehicle regardless of who drives it, but you still need to be informed about your policy's collision insurance about liabilities and coverage. For more information, talk to companies like Mach 1 Body Shop Inc.