Liability when loaning a vehicle to a fully insured individual

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: May 3, 2016

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Insurance Question from Berryville, VA

Asked on 05/03/2016

Liability when loaning a vehicle to a fully insured individual I loaned my truck to a friend after having confirmed that he is 100% fully insured.He backed into a municipal light pole and it fell down (no damage to my truck).I've always thought that if you loan a vehicle to a person who is fully insured, then THEY are liable through their insurer for any damage to your vehicle or any other property while the vehicle is under their control. The friend is willing, but my insurance is not. The City who owns the pole is seeking to recover from ME and my insurance, How can I best handle this?

Answer given on October 01, 2016

When there is an automobile accident, the insurance follows the car no matter who is driving. Even though your friend has his own insurance, it would not apply in this incident. In the case where your friend was using your truck and struck a pole, the damage to the pole is covered under your policy.Since you were not driving and the friend is not listed on your insurance policy, your insurance rates should not be affected by this claim. Contact your insurance company to have them settle the damages and costs for the light pole. If you continue to hear from the city about the pole, give them your insurance company information and claim number if you have it. They will then settle the claim with the company.If there is a report on this incident, your friend’s insurance may be affected depending upon the amount of damage. It can be considered an at fault accident which may increase his premium.

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