Every driver in Colorado must have auto insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements. Colorado is a fault state, meaning an at-fault driver is responsible for any damages they cause to others. An injured driver has the right to file an insurance claim against the driver responsible for their recent accident. However, sometimes drivers allow others to drive their vehicles. In this situation, it’s natural to wonder, does insurance follow the car or the driver in Colorado?
Like most other states, auto insurance in Colorado follows the insured vehicle, not the driver. This means that if you borrow someone else’s vehicle and have an accident, their auto insurance comes into play. Your auto insurance policy may act as secondary coverage, depending on the details of the situation. On the other hand, if someone else borrows your vehicle and has an accident, your auto insurance policy would be the primary coverage.
When you purchase auto insurance in Colorado, insurance carriers will only let you purchase coverage that meets Colorado’s minimum coverage requirements. Every auto insurance policy in Colorado must include three basic types of liability coverage:
These coverage minimums may sound like enough flexibility to compensate another driver’s losses after an accident, but this may not be true for a severe car accident that results in permanent disability to the victim. Therefore, all drivers should carefully consider purchasing additional coverage and types of coverage that can provide further protection after a serious accident.
While not required, it is strongly recommended that all Colorado drivers also purchase additional underinsured/uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage option applies to your policy and would come into play if another driver causes an accident with you but does not have auto insurance. While this type of coverage may not fully cover your damages, it can provide some compensation relatively quickly after your accident while you work with an attorney to take further legal action against the at-fault driver.
Interacting with insurance companies can be difficult and stressful, and you cannot always expect a straightforward claim process. However, having an experienced attorney assist you with your car accident insurance claim will significantly reduce the time required to obtain your settlement check, and your legal team can ensure you do not face any unfair pushback from the insurer against your claim.
Insurance follows the car, not the driver, and accidents that involve drivers borrowing other people’s vehicles sometimes raise difficult insurance questions. If you are unsure how your auto insurance applies after an accident or think you need to take legal action beyond an insurance claim, it’s vital to secure legal counsel as soon as possible.
Q: Does Insurance Stay With the Car or the Driver?
A: Car insurance applies to the insured vehicle. If you let someone borrow your vehicle, you are essentially allowing them to borrow your vehicle’s insurance coverage as well. If you borrow someone else’s vehicle and cause an accident, their insurance comes into play to cover any resulting damages. Depending on the type of auto insurance policy you have, your policy can potentially act as secondary insurance coverage if you borrowed someone else’s car.
Q: What Happens If Someone Else Is Driving My Car and Gets in an Accident in Colorado?
A: If the person who borrowed your vehicle caused the accident, your auto insurance would come into play for compensating the other driver. If they did not cause the accident, they have the right to seek compensation for their injuries from the at-fault driver’s policy, and you could claim vehicle repair costs from their policy as well.
Q: Can Someone Else Drive My Car in Colorado?
A: It is up to your discretion whether another driver can borrow your vehicle. However, you should never let an unlicensed driver borrow your car, nor should you allow anyone who has had their driver’s license suspended to drive your vehicle. Doing so can potentially lead to legal penalties, and you may face higher auto insurance premiums as well if they cause an accident while driving your car.
Q: Will My Insurance Cover Me Driving Someone Else’s Car?
A: Insurance follows the vehicle, not the driver. If you drive someone else’s car, their insurance will apply if you have an accident. However, if they do not have adequate insurance or do not have insurance at all, your auto insurance policy would be secondary coverage that may come into play depending on how the accident occurred.
Dealing with insurance claims is often one of the most frustrating aspects of resolving any car accident in Colorado. It’s not always easy to determine fault for an accident, and an at-fault driver can dispute their responsibility or claim that the other driver caused the accident. Legal representation is an invaluable asset in this situation, and your attorney can help you maximize your recovery.
Cheney, Galluzzi & Howard has extensive experience representing Colorado clients in a wide range of car accident cases, including those that raise tough insurance-related questions. If you are unsure how to resolve your recent accident, if you borrowed someone else’s car or someone else borrowed yours and had an accident, we can help you navigate the complex insurance issues you face. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about the legal services we provide.