Question: If my friend was driving my car and caused an accident, will my car Insurance cover him even though he doesn’t have a 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. Can you be penalized for letting someone drive your car without license? Shouldn’t the person driving someone else’s car without a license be the one responsible?
Answer: Probably the first thing to do is to ask your friend if he/she could pay for the damages. If he/she refuses, you could look into suing him/her. If he/she has no means to pay the damages, then you have to turn to your car insurance provider for covering your loses and paying for third party claims. Whatever your decision, you should keep your automobile insurance company informed.
This is one of those cases where you really need a good auto company for paying claims. A company that is not trying to get out of a claim would see that you didn’t intentionally give the car key to a driver without a license. They would accept that you didn’t have any fault in this case. So, they wouldn’t argue about paying your damages and any liabilities arising out of auto ownership.
On the other hand, a company that is trying to get out of claims can try to lay the blame on you. They may say that it is your responsibility to make sure whoever drives your vehicle has license to do so. However, it is normal to assume that an adult who is asking to drive your vehicle has a license to do so. Most adults have driving licences. Therefore, you have a strong argument if your insurer tries to get out of this claim. Most insurers wouldn’t make a big issue and pay the claim, especially when the claim is not big.
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 an insurance company lawyer would be able to put a good argument for not paying the claim.
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.
Driving Someone Else’s Car without a License
After paying for the damages caused by an unlicensed driver (your friend), your insurer may look into suing your friend to get their money back. Not only he/she failed common decency to be honest but also deceived and mislead. And therefore, he/she should be made to pay for the damages he/she caused. Your friend may be sued separately if the third parties know he/she has lost his/her driving license and still chose to drive.
Regardless of who owns the vehicle, driving with a suspended license is a crime that can result in fines and jail sentence. Causing an accident while driving without a licence will increase the severity of the crime.
Letting Someone Drive your Car without License
Vehicle owners are responsible for the actions of drivers while driving their cars. They would be facilitating a crime by allowing an unlicensed driver. Knowingly letting someone drive your car with no license is considered a crime and you may face charges in court. However, if the driver told you that he was licensed or you had no reason to suspect you may escape the charges.