Question: If my friend was driving and caused an accident, will my car Insurance cover him even though he doesn’t have a valid license. I assumed he had a valid driving license when I gave him the keys. I found out after the accident that his license was suspended.
Answer: With a friend like this who needs enemies. If I were you, first I would ask my (so called) friend to pay for the damages. If he/she refuses, I would look into suing him/her. If he/she has no means to pay the damages, then I would look into my insurer for payment. Whatever your decision, you should keep your automobile insurance company informed.
This is one of those cases where you really need a good auto insurer. I think, a company that is willing to pay a claim would see that you didn’t intentionally give the car keys to a driver without a license. They may accept that you didn’t have any fault in this case. So, they may pay your damages and any liabilities arising out of auto ownership. Your friend may be sued separately if the third parties know he/she has lost his/her driving license and still chose to drive.
On the other hand, a company that is trying to get out of the claim can do so easily. They may say that it is your responsibility to make sure whoever drives your vehicle has license to do so. By not checking you have fail your responsibility which is probably detailed in your policy in an uncertain language. Car insurance with no license is only offered in special circumstances and it wouldn’t apply to this case. You will have to first arrange it before you can make a claim on it anyway.
Also, they can argue that if he/she was your friend you should have known about license suspension. Then, you will have to take your insurer to court and argue in front of a judge that you didn’t/couldn’t know. The outcome is uncertain as a lawyer paid by an insurance company would be able to put a great argument for not paying the claim.
Even your insurer paid for the damages, they may look into suing your friend for the claim they paid. Not only he/she failed common decency as a human being but also deceived and mislead. And therefore, he/she should be made to pay for the damages he/she caused.