Buying a New Car
The search for a new car takes time and effort. Typically you go from one dealership to another kicking wheels and choosing colors. You may drive many different cars on your quest to find the perfect one. You may wonder whose insurance covers you if you should get hurt in an accident while test driving. First, you hope this never happens and second, you have to be realistic and prepared should an accident happen,
The Test Drive
The first clue to whose insurance is responsible should be easy to spot. When you go to ask the salesman for a test drive, the only thing they ask for is your driving license. It is rare to find a car salesman who wants to see your insurance. This should be because the dealership carries insurance that allows customers to test drive their cars and be covered under their policy. There is always the possibility that the dealer is assuming the driver has insurance since they drove up to the lot to buy a car; however, not everyone drives to the dealership, they may have someone bring them. So, it would be a dangerous thing for dealers to assume that the test driver has auto insurance.
Car dealerships are required to carry auto insurance that covers their vehicles in the event of theft, fire, damage or accidents. This insurance also covers anyone who comes to the dealership to test drive a vehicle. Dealer insurance is expensive because it has to have high enough levels of coverage to pay for the worse case scenario. If the insurance were to have low coverage levels and someone died in an accident, the dealership could ultimately be held responsible and possibly go out of business.
You don’t want to ask for a test drive and then ask if the dealership has insurance so you should typically stick to reputable dealers that you know would be properly covered. If you choose to test drive a car at a used car lot or a pay-here lot, you might want to go ahead and ask if they have insurance on the vehicles.
Personal Car Insurance
Car owners typically have their own personal car insurance that will also provide some coverage when driving vehicles other than their own. This is added coverage that will be beneficial should the dealership not have as much coverage as they should of if their coverage doesn’t pick up things like any loss of work time that you might have. This is when your insurance will pick up and fill in the gaps. Your own insurance could also be beneficial if you test drive a car at a used car lot that might not have the insurance necessary for test driving cars.
Drive Other Car Insurance
Personal car insurance can have an added clause called the Drive Other Car Insurance clause. This clause allows you to drive other vehicles, including test driving cars before you buy them. Having this clause should help you feel more secure that you won’t be putting yourself in financial jeopardy if you have an accident while test driving a car. Practically all car insurance policies have provisions for coverage if you are driving another vehicle. You should read your policy and know before you drive if you have additional coverage for driving other vehicles.
Ca Dealerships and Accidents
If you happen to find yourself in the unfortunate position of being involved in an accident while test driving a car, you should make sure you get all the information necessary to ensure that your medical bills are covered and any other damages that might be present. You should get:
- Copy of the accident report. Although the owner of the vehicle, the dealership, usually gets the accident report, you can ask for a copy for your records;
- Insurance information from the dealership. You need the company name, policy number, and possibly even the agents name if you would like a direct contact.
- Salesperson’s information. Most dealerships send a salesperson out with you on a test drive. You need to have this person’s name as they are party to the accident and also a witness.
You probably don’t want to think that you need an attorney; however, depending on who is at fault in the accident, you may want to consult one. The car dealership’s main priority is more than likely going to be the car and damage to the car. However, if you have injuries, you are going to need someone who is concerned with your welfare and financial obligations. An attorney will make sure you are not overlooked in the process of settling the accident.
Testing driving a car should be a fun time, not one filled with worries about whether or not there is test drive insurance on the car. Stick with reputable dealers and feel secure about the cars you are driving.