On a daily basis, it is not uncommon to lend one’s vehicle to a third person. Spouse, children, friend or even colleague: many people likely to borrow his car. But to comply with the auto insurance contract, this loan of the steering wheel must be carried out according to certain rules.
Auto insurance coverage on a loan to a third party
In the vast majority of cases, a motorist can fully lend his vehicle to a third party . Whether it’s a family member, a friend, a colleague or even a carpooler, anyone can be covered by insurance. However, three conditions must be met to be in the legality:
- The driver of the vehicle must hold a valid driver’s license
- The loan must be exceptional, strictly private and short-term
- The loan must not be contrary to the terms of the auto insurance contract
In case of an accident not responsible, the owner of the vehicle has nothing to fear: it is indeed the car insurance of the offending motorist who will intervene to compensate for material and bodily injury. In the event of a responsible accident caused by the occasional driver, the insured’s third-party liability insurance will be automatically taken to cover the damages caused to third parties. However, the material and bodily injury suffered by the casual driver may not be supported or only partially.
Vehicle loan to a third party: the situations ensured by the contract
Almost all car insurance contracts include a clause called “steering wheel loan”. This defines the rules to be respected when one wants to lend one’s vehicle to a third person: spouse, children, friends or even unknown. Depending on the contract, different clauses may allow you to lend your vehicle to a third party, while being insured.
- Loan without restriction: If this clause is in the contract, the insured can lend his vehicle to whom he wishes. Indeed, any third party will benefit from the coverage of his car insurance, without any specific conditions.
- The loan with surcharge: It is possible to lend the steering wheel to a third person. But in case of accident, the insured will have to assume a larger deductible amount.
- The loan to experienced drivers: Provided that the occasional motorist holds a driving license for long enough (usually 3 years), it is possible to lend him his vehicle.
Vehicle loan to a third party: situations not covered by the contract
While these clauses allow the motorist to lend his vehicle to a third party, while being insured, others prohibit this practice. There are mainly two situations where the loan of flying to a third person will not be allowed:
- The exclusivity clause: it only allows the insured to drive the vehicle. If any other person uses it, it will not be covered in the event of an accident.
- Loan for family members: If the casual driver is not an ascendant or descendant of the insured, he will not be allowed to use the car.
With a few exceptions, a third party can borrow a vehicle and take advantage of the car insurance of its owner. However, it does not say he has the same level of coverage, which can have serious consequences for himself and the insured.