Worried that your automobile insurance company wouldn’t pay a claim after finding out you unknowingly let someone drive the car without license? It is easy to assume that a friend would have it when they ask you the car keys as most adults pass their tests early on. Should you be penalized for this honest mistake? Shouldn’t the person who put you in that situation be responsible?
Probably the first thing to do is to ask the friend to pay for the damages. You could look into suing if the answer is no. If he/she has no means to come up with the money, then you have to turn to your vehicle insurance provider for covering loses and/or third party claims. Whatever you decide, you should keep them informed.
This is one of those cases where you really need a good auto company for paying claims. If they were not trying to get out of compensating you they would see that you didn’t intentionally give the car key to a person without a license. They would accept that you didn’t have any fault in this case. They wouldn’t be pleased in any case but they may agree to settle your damages and any liabilities arising out of auto ownership.
Some carriers and policies may not have full coverage for occasional drivers. They may only have liability protection. And in this case, it wouldn’t be a surprise if the carrier chooses to deal with liability only and ignore your own losses. It is hard to escape the fact that you have to share some level of blame.
On the other hand, if they are trying to get out of it they can try to lay the blame on you, which wouldn’t be much difficult. They may say that it is policyholder’s responsibility to make sure only eligible people operate the vehicle.
However, it is not out of the ordinary to assume that an adult, who asked the keys, is legally allowed to operate a motor vehicle. Most adults have them. Therefore, you have a strong argument if the carrier tries to get out of paying. You will probably have to prove that there was no reason to suspect and you had no way of knowing. Most auto insurers would begrudgingly agree to settle the claim, especially when it is not big.
Also, they can argue that you should have been aware of a friend’s suspension. Then, you will have to take them 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 against it.
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, the insurer may look into suing the 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 face the financial and legal consequences. The person may be sued separately if the third parties know the current position and level of negligence and ignorance in causing the accident.
Regardless of who owns the vehicle, driving while suspended is a crime that can result in fines and jail sentence. And causing an accident will increase the severity of the crime.
Letting Someone Drive your Car without License
Vehicle owners are responsible for the actions of motorists operating their cars. They would be facilitating a crime by allowing an unqualified person to take charge of a motor vehicle. Knowingly aiding someone break the laws is considered a crime and you may face charges in court. However, if they told you lies to get their way or you had no reason to suspect you may escape the charges.