Liability coverages follow the car

The guy who borrowed your car may get the ticket and the driver’s license points, but it’s your insurance that will pay if he caused the accident.

Mark LeMaster, general counsel at SafeAuto Insurance, says, “Lending your car — called permissive use — is generally covered.”

Your bodily injury liability and property damage coverages will pay for damages or injuries that others sustained, up to the limits of your policy.

If the damage exceeds your liability limits, then the driver’s own policy may be tapped as secondary coverage. “This is only the case if the driver’s liability limits are higher than the car owner’s limits,” says Penny Gusner, consumer analyst for Insure.com.

Heaven forbid you both bought the bare-minimum policy.

“Minimum coverages for damage to property are as low as $5,000 in some states,” notes Jeff Little, associate general counsel for SafeAuto.

If an auto accident results in $50,000 in damage, you would still be on the hook, along with your friend, if the victim chooses to sue for whatever amount insurance doesn’t pay.

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