Does Insurance Pay Out If Someone Else Crashes Your Car? – Read On and Find Out More
February 16, 2017
Will your insurance cover you if someone else drives your car?
The question of whether car insurance will cover road accident costs if someone else drives your car can be somewhat confusing.
The terminology used to explain this question can in itself cloud the issue.
It affects insurance cover when someone else and not the policyholder is the regular driver of the vehicle.
If details about the regular driver are not correctly stated on the insurance policy and another person who regularly drives the car is in an accident, claims could be dismissed out of hand or not paid out in full.
Confused? Read on…
So who is the regular driver?
A regular driver is the person who most frequently uses the car over a 12 month period. Even if that person is not the policyholder.
So what difference does that make?
Car insurance companies calculate car insurance premiums according to the regular driver’s risk profile. This is ascertained by the age and of the regular driver and the expected travelling distances each year. And also, the driving experience and the area of the country in which the owner will be using the vehicle.
As Santam explains, a vehicle driven by an elderly woman on Sundays will have a vastly different risk profile to a student driving a car at night.
What happens if another driver crashes the car?
The car insurance company will cover the policyholder for damage to the vehicle if someone else, who seldom drives the car, is involved in a road accident.
How many other people can drive the vehicle?
That varies from one company to another. Santam, for example, does not limit the number of drivers who seldom use the vehicle.
What names must you add to the policy?
If someone else drives your car on a more regular basis than you, you must add details about that person to the policy.
Risk profiles for car insurance should always contain information about a regular driver.
For example, if the policyholder is aware that his wife will frequently use the vehicle her details should show on the car insurance policy.
In most instances, family cars are driven regularly by more than one person. The father, mother and teenage children may all end up driving the vehicle.
So what happens if one of them and not the policyholder is in an accident?
Even if someone else is to blame, the policyholder could end up liable for partial or full costs if the names of regular drivers have not been listed on the policy.
When must one inform the insurance company?
The insurance company regards it as a breach of contract when one fails to inform an insurance company about a change in regular driver status. Because of this the insurance company could reject future claims or they could declare the policy invalid.
It is imperative that policyholders inform their companies about any changes to driver status.
Failure to do so could lead to serious complications and financial losses.
Insurance companies urge policyholders to review their insurance cover every year to ensure that their information is up-to-date.
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All info was correct at time of publishing