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Lending a vehicle is a helpful and friendly thing to do, and in most cases perfectly safe. However, many drivers are unaware of their responsibility level when someone else is behind the wheel of their car. InsuranceHotline.com reminds drivers that lending a vehicle might just be a bigger favour than they anticipated. Here are some tips to keep in mind before lending to avoid potential consequences and to be certain that the person borrowing the car can be fully trusted.

(PRWEB) October 19, 2011

When a friend or family member asks to borrow the car, most people do not hesitate to hand over the keys. There is no reason why a driver should not agree to lend the car as long as they are well aware of the responsibility they are taking on. InsuranceHotline.com not only wants to remind drivers of the consequences, but the person borrowing the car needs to be aware of the serious responsibility they are receiving and ensure they take their accountability seriously.

The Insurance Follows the Car

When it comes to lending a car, it is the insurance policy taken out by the owner of the car that will handle any incidents that might occur. Even if the borrower has their own insurance policy on another vehicle, that does not negate the fact that the primary policy responsible may be that of the owner. If there is an accident, it may be the owner's insurance and not the driver's that will handle the claim.

This means that if someone borrows a car and is involved in an accident through their negligence (meaning they are at fault), it may cost the owner of the car in the form of a deductible and/or increased insurance rates. The insurance policy on the car may be responsible for paying out on liability claims. It will also be the owner's insurance that might pay for damage to the car itself through their coverage, even if the borrower has their own liability coverage.

Because of this, the rate increase for the accident may appear on the owner's insurance and not on the driver's insurance. "The owner bears the responsibility for everything that happens with their car, even if they are not present." Tammy Ezer of InsuranceHoteline.com reminds drivers. It is vital to be certain the person driving is trustworthy and responsible.

A Car Lending Checklist

Before the keys are handed over check a few simple things to ensure that everything is in place and that there are no legal issues. 

  • Ensure that the person borrowing the car has a valid driver's license. This may seem obvious, but it is vitally important.
  • Make certain a copy of the registration and proof of insurance are in the car and let the borrower know where to find them.
  • Verify that both parties are agreed on how the car can be used and where it is being driven.
  • Ensure the borrower knows not to let anyone else drive the car.
  • Check the odometer before lending the car. Even if the driver is a trusted friend or relative, it can't hurt to know. Extra kilometers on the odometer will make it clear if the agreed usage for the car is being exceeded.
  • Make certain all signals, brake lights and other important functions of the car are in good working order.

With an understanding of what it really means to lend out a car, it becomes clear that it is important to be choosy when making this type of decision. Drivers who are trustworthy and have a proven track record of clean driving are good choices - steer clear of lending to anyone who might be irresponsible as this could affect your auto insurance rates in the future.

Courtesy:  sfgate.com
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