Perhaps you heard a news report like this: A 10-year-old child climbs into their parent's car and takes off. Imagine this happening in your home. Perhaps it is your teen who believes they can drive. It could be a younger child who just saw the opportunity. In this situation, does your auto insurance policy offer help to cover the damage? In most cases, you should have coverage to protect you. Here's some additional insight.
Know What Your Car Insurance Protects
Auto insurance policies provide financial protection for you, the owner. They generally protect you from damages that other drivers cause when using your vehicle. In other words, your car insurance follows your car no matter who is behind the wheel.
In this situation, it is likely to cover the damage caused to other drivers as a result of the unlicensed driver being behind the wheel. That would fall under your car insurance policy's liability coverage. It may cover damage to another car or another person's other property. It may also cover any injuries another person incurred as a result of the incident.
Whether or not the auto insurance covers the damage to your car depends on various factors. For example, if you knowingly allowed the unlicensed driver to get behind the wheel, chances are good your insurer will deny your claim.
On the other hand, if your 15-year-old decides to get behind the wheel without your knowledge, it may still cover your losses. However, whether your policy pays at all will often depend if you have collision or comprehensive damage coverage.
How Much Coverage Matters
Keep in mind that all car insurance policies have limits. This applies to both collision and liability insurance.
Let's say you have $30,000 worth of liability insurance. Yet, the driver causes more than this in damage to another person's vehicle or property. They may exceed the maximum amount of liability coverage you have for medical losses, too. In this situation, you may still be responsible financially for the losses. As the vehicle owner that cost often falls on your shoulders.
There is never a bad time to speak to your unlicensed drivers about safety. There may be no reason to anticipate your child engaging in activities like this. However, knowing that you have an auto insurance policy capable of covering your losses is important. Take a closer look at your liability coverage. Consider increasing it if it is too low.