The particulars of auto insurance coverage can vary considerably between states. If your car is involved in a complicated accident that ensnares multiple drivers and several different vehicles, you should file a police report before notifying your insurance company of the accident. Once this has been done, you should talk to a qualified representative from your insurance company to learn more about your rights and responsibilities.
If it's possible, you should speak directly with the third-party agent who sold you your policy. The claims representatives and direct-sales staffers that work at insurance providers typically won't provide you with detailed, unbiased answers to tough questions about your policy's coverages. By contrast, an honest insurance agent who values your business is likely to be upfront about the likelihood of a payout from your insurer. He or she might provide valuable advice about the steps that you should take to minimize any potential losses or liabilities that you might face. Alternatively, you may wish to contact an experienced insurance lawyer in the aftermath of a major accident that caused substantial property damage or injuries.
If you're not driving your vehicle when it's involved in an open-road accident, you'll need to take several steps to ensure that you're protected from serious financial and legal complications. If you're not indisposed or outside of easy traveling distance, you should travel to the scene of the accident as soon as you learn of it. Before you permit anyone to use your car, ensure that they're able to contact you in the event of a crash.
Even if the person using your car has insurance on a vehicle that they own, their insurance provider is unlikely to pay for the bulk of the accident-related damages that they cause with your car. Rather, your insurance provider will handle any related claims. If your policy has a high deductible, the at-fault driver's insurance provider may compensate you for a portion of your accident-related out-of-pocket expenses.
On the other hand, a driver who carries "non-owner" insurance may offer you greater financial and legal protection in the event of an accident. "Non-owner" policies are designed to insulate vehicle owners who loan out their cars to licensed drivers who lack their own vehicles. Licensed drivers who carry this type of policy should be covered for any damages or injuries that arise from an accident that they cause. If you permit a driver with such coverage to use your car, your insurance company may not hold you liable for their actions.