The “Big Game” Auto Exposure

Property & CasualtyThe Big Football game of the year is this weekend. If you are headed to a party with lots of cars in the driveway, you might want to pay attention to the rest of this blog.

Here’s the scene, you are at the party and your car is #3 in the driveway with 4 others behind it. It’s halftime and the group needs supplies. You, the sober one, volunteer to run to the store and the owner of the last car in the driveway pitches you the keys to their car. You have been given permission by that owner to drive their car so on a primary insurance basis, their auto insurance is now in play while you are driving to get supplies. While at the supply place, you back out of the parking space and hit a pedestrian in the parking lot causing injury. Let’s look at what might happen next regarding insurance responding.

  1. The owner of the car you are driving has $500,000 in liability limits Plus Medical Payment or No fault Insurance inforce and the coverage responds to the claim from the pedestrian.
  2. The owner of the car you are driving has $25,000 Minimum limits insurance with medical payments or No fault insurance, and the insurance responds but is not adequate to cover the entire set of bills and legal fees from a suit files by the injured Pedestrian.
  3. The owner of the car you are driving forgot to pay their insurance premium last month and the coverage they thought was inforce was cancelled, leaving no insurance of the car owner to respond to the accident.

Any of these scenarios can come into play with the pitch of a keyset. 99 million times out of 99 million, you would never think to ask the owner as you fly out the door for supplies if they have insurance inforce, what the limits are and does it include medical payments or no fault. What a geek you would be to stop and ask that question.  I am not here to suggest that you would be expected to.

I am suggesting that you work with an agency (AssuredPartners NL) that will make sure that YOU are covered for the above scenarios and others in case you become a permissive user of someone else’s car and they are not adequately covered. You do not have control over whether the owner of that car in the driveway that you borrowed is covered properly, but you DO have control over whether your business auto policy and personal auto policy if applicable is structured properly to handle YOUR exposure while using someone else’s car with their permission and their insurance fails to cover you after an accident that is your fault.

To further complicate matters, and yet another reason on why you need to speak to us, if your only auto insurance covering you is a business auto policy, and the above loss scenario occurs with low or no limits available from the owner of the car you borrowed, you may not have any insurance that will respond on your behalf. If you don’t carry any personal auto insurance because the car you drive is supplied by your business, ask us about Drive other car coverage for named individuals or non- owned personal auto liability coverage to fill this potential gap. We can perform a comprehensive review of your business and personal auto exposures and current coverage at the same time to make sure no gaps in coverage are present regardless of the automobile loss scenario. Let us help. Call AssuredPartners NL Property & Casualty today and you can sit back and enjoy the Big Game.

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