Q: My daughter drives her boyfriend's car. Whose car insurance will pay the claim if she gets into a car accident?

A: This question is asked frequently, however, it usually comes from the boyfriends’ parents (i.e.: owners of the vehicle). The owner of the vehicle is responsible to have the minimum required liability coverage of the vehicle per Minnesota Statute 169.797, Penalties for Failure to Provide Vehicle Insurance.

The insurance policyholder of the car will pay the claim. In most cases, auto insurance follows the car rather than the driver. The vehicle owner/policyholder is responsible to ensure that the person operating the vehicle has a valid license and is authorized to operate the vehicle in the state where the vehicle is located.

If the boyfriend/girlfriend are under the age of 18, I highly suggest that both families get together over a cup of coffee to have a conversation about insurance coverage and expectations if the unthinkable happens. Remember, every claim on your insurance record could affect your vehicle insurance rates in the future.

Borrowing your car to a friend can have serious repercussions; my advice is not to allow anyone to drive your car that you do not fully trust. A great way to remember this rule is that you are lending your vehicle and your vehicle insurance, in some situations what the driver of the vehicle does with your vehicle, could become your responsibility. For more information or legal advice, I recommend you contact your personal attorney.

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1. Minnesota Statute 169.797 Penalties for Failure to Provide Vehicle Insurance, located online at www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/169.797

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