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Ask an Accident Attorney: “What happens in Florida when someone borrows your car and gets into an accident?”

If you let friends or family members borrow your car, you may want to take a few minutes and read this blog.

As an accident attorney, I see this situation a lot: a person lets a friend borrow their car, and that friend gets into an accident. The question I always get from the owner of the car is “Will I have to pay for the damages?” or “How does this impact me?

The answer is not always straightforward, and in some cases may not seem fair. Below, I explain what happens in this type of situation.

Florida is a no-fault insurance state. Here’s what that means:

Before we get into who is responsible for damages in this type of situation, you must first understand how Florida’s insurance laws work.

When you register a car in Florida, you are required by law to have the following coverage in your auto insurance policy:

  • A minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP), plus a minimum of $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) insurance.
  • Continuous coverage, which means you maintain auto insurance on your vehicle without any lapses or gaps in coverage.
  • You must also have an insurance policy with an insurance provider licensed to do business in Florida.

Who’s insurance covers the borrowed car accident?

In Florida, the general rule is that insurance follows the car—not the driver. Therefore, if a friend borrows your car, your insurance will be used to pay for any damages. If damages exceed your policy limit, then your friend’s (the driver’s) insurance can provide supplemental secondary coverage. Therefore, it is important to only loan your car out to insured drivers!

However, if your friend was not at fault in the accident, then the other driver’s policy would cover the damages to your car. In the event this happens, I highly recommend you hire an experienced car accident attorney to help ensure you receive full and fair compensation for the damages caused in the accident.

Exceptions to the rule

Although insurance typically follows the car, there are a few exceptions to the above rule, including:

  • If a person steals your car and causes an accident, you will not be responsible the other driver’s vehicle damages or medical bills. Your insurance company will only cover damage done to your vehicle.
  • If a family member or friend uses your car without permission, your insurance will only be used if the driver’s insurance cannot cover the damages.
  • If you have explicitly excluded a family member from your car insurance policy, then your insurance company can legally refuse to pay for any damages caused.

Injured in a car accident on the Treasure Coast?

Call Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd immediately at 866-930-6435

If you are involved and/or injured in a car accident in Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach or Okeechobee, the best thing you can do is call our office and speak with one of our car accident attorneys. Free of charge, we will set up an in-person or over-the-phone consultation to help you understand your rights and what your next steps should be.

The car accident attorneys at Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have over 40 years of experience helping thousands of injury victims and their families recover from serious accidents on the Treasure Coast. We’re experienced. We’re local. We’re on your side.

Contact us today for a FREE case review by calling 866-930-6435

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Ft. Pierce Office
302 South Second Street
Ft. Pierce, FL 34950
Phone: (772) 464-4600
Fax: (772) 465-4747
Port St. Lucie Office
1555 NW St. Lucie West Blvd
Suite 203, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986
Phone: (772) 344-7770
Fax: (772)344-3838
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1910 S Parrott Ave
Okeechobee, FL 34974
Phone: (863) 357-5800
Fax: (863) 763-2237
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2101 15th Avenue
Vero Beach, FL 32960
Phone: (772) 794-7774
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