What happens if a family member totals my leased car

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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: Dec 7, 2016

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Insurance Question from Belle Haven, CT

Asked on 12/07/2016

What happens if a family member totals my leased car Family member totaled my car. It is a leased car as well.

Answer given on December 27, 2016

Auto insurance is set up that the owner of the car is responsible for the damages to the car no matter who is driving. If a family member totaled your car you should report this to your insurance company for settlement. They will pay for the damages presuming the family member is either listed on the policy as a driver, or that the insurance company does not exclude drivers who are not listed.The insurance company will pay the “actual cash value” of the car less the deductible. The value of the car may or may not be the same as the balance on the lease. If it is not enough, then you are responsible for the difference, unless you have an endorsement on the policy that is called “gap” coverage which picks up the difference.If the family member is NOT listed on your policy, then your rates will not be affected. The family member’s driving record will be affected which can result in higher premium for them on their insurance policy.

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