What Happens When My Kid’s Friend Drives Their Car?

Sometimes teenagers play musical cars. It’s generally legal for friends to borrow each other’s cars so long as they have a valid driver’s license. While a friend driving your teen’s car may not be a huge deal, accidents can happen.

So, what happens if your kid’s friend wrecks the car?

The good news is that your insurance policy will typically extend to someone who’s been granted permission to drive the insured car. So long as the vehicle is insured, whoever drives it should be covered. If someone steals the vehicle, your insurance will typically cover any damage they cause, as most auto insurance policies also cover theft. There are exceptions, however. Car insurance may not step in if your child’s friend

  • Wasn’t given permission to drive the vehicle. If your child can prove their friend took the vehicle without permission, the friend (or their parents) may be held liable for any damages or injuries they caused while driving the vehicle.
  • Was listed as an exclusion. You may list certain people as “excluded drivers” on an insurance policy. If an excluded driver operates the vehicle, your insurance won’t cover the damage they cause.
  • Drove under the influence. If the friend operated the vehicle while under the influence without permission, they are liable for the damages. If your child gave the influenced friend permission to drive the vehicle, your insurance may not cover them.
  • Doesn’t have a driver’s license. Having no license or an invalid license may mean your insurance won’t cover them, especially if your child gave the unlicensed driver permission to drive their vehicle.

Will My Insurance Rates Go Up if Someone Else Crashes My Kid’s Car?

If someone wrecks a vehicle listed on your insurance policy—no matter who wrecked it—your insurance rates are likely to rise. While the incident likely won’t go on your or your child’s driving record, the accident itself costs the insurance company money which in turn boosts your rates.

Advise your teen to consider the following before letting a friend borrow their car.

  1. Is this person trustworthy?
  2. Is this person a good driver?
  3. Does this person have a valid driver’s license?
  4. Is this person under the influence?

Having a teenager on your Boise auto insurance policy is expensive as it is. Make sure your child knows the risks of letting friends borrow their car before handing over the keys.

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