Someone – not you, a friend – has had an incident while driving your car. They’ve crashed your beloved wheels into someone else’s. Both cars are damaged. Your friend is ok. They’re not listed on your policy, and… Wait, what? They’re an unlisted driver?!
Hang on. This could unfortunately place you in a pickle. Let’s investigate further and find out if it’s the sweet n’ tangy sort of pickle or the sour variety…
Unlisted driver in the driver’s seat of your car
First, ask yourself this question: can I make a successful insurance claim for an unlisted driver who crashed my car?
There are two answers. Yes, some insurance policies do cover this, usually with an additional excess attached. And no, some don’t (which means you’ll have to foot the bill yourself – ouch!!).
No: when you can’t claim for an unlisted driver
Many car insurance policies don’t cover unlisted drivers – whether they’re at fault or not. They simply don’t allow for it at all, not even with an unlisted driver excess.
It’s a big decision to allow an unlisted driver take your wheel; you’re putting yourself at risk of a complicated financial situation. In addition, insurers will often reward you with a lower premium when you’re the only driver of your car. Seriously consider if allowing an unlisted driver to touch your steering wheel is worth doing at all.
If you’re unsure what your policy states then check your product disclosure statement (PDS).
Yes: when you can claim for an unlisted driver
If an insurer will consider claims where an unlisted driver has driven your car (i.e. it’s in their PDS), know the excess payment for this claim – if successful – will very likely be more expensive than if a listed driver was at the wheel. Why? You’ll be paying an unlisted driver excess as well as a standard excess.
Also know that any car insurance claim you make hurts your risk rating with your and other insurers. And you can expect your annual premium to cost more because you’re seen as a riskier policy holder.
Let’s explore the excess side of things when it comes to car insurance claims, unlisted driver and otherwise.
What is an excess, and which ones do I have to pay?
When you make a car insurance claim, you have an agreed amount which you pay – called an excess. Your insurer pays the rest.
Say you make a claim for car repairs that will total $4,000. If your standard excess is $500 you’ll pay that only and your insurer pays the remaining $3,500. Depending on the details of the incident, you may have to pay more than one type of excess.
Here are the main types of excess in Australia:
- Standard excess – This is the fixed amount you pay toward a claim for an at-fault incident. If you’re in an accident where the other party (the driver of the other car) is at fault you may not have to pay this excess.
- Age excess – Younger drivers are statistically at higher risk of being involved in an accident. To account for the added risk, insurers offer various age excesses (e.g. under 25 years of age).
- Inexperienced driver excess – This type of excess is sometimes applicable when a driver has only had their licence for a short period.
- Unlisted driver excess – This excess applies if your car is involved in an incident while someone who’s unlisted was driving it – that is, as long as your policy covers unlisted drivers. If your policy doesn’t, you will be held liable for the full cost of repair/replacement.
As mentioned earlier, if an unlisted driver was driving your car at the time of an incident there’s a very real chance you won’t be covered. Check your PDS to find out what types of excess your insurer offers and which apply to your policy.
You might be wondering whether a high excess or a low excess is better – see here.
And while you’re at it find out how to make a comprehensive car insurance claim in 6 steps.
Do I need to add occasional drivers to my policy?
The best way to avoid what can be a seriously significant financial impact? List on your comprehensive car insurance policy each person who drives your ar. Most insurers will allow you to add a number of drivers to a single policy, up to a maximum number.
The financial security (not to mention emotional security) this will provide can be a gamechanger. Imagine if your friend crashed your car into a Ferrari… Enough said.
Login to your PD account today to register additional drivers or to update your details. If any of your driving details change – like the number of drivers, remember to contact your insurer and update your policy. You don’t need to wait for your policy renewal period to do this.
Find out why with these 5 tips for your car insurance renewal.
An unlisted driver crashed my car – over to you
While we hope you’re reading this hypothetically, if this is your situation, you may be asking yourself why you let an unlisted driver drive your car.
Perhaps you let your friend pop to the shops in your car while hers was at the wash. Maybe you’re in a new relationship and your partner was driving because you felt tired after a dinner out. Maybe you recently sold your car, and the buyer has written it off before changing the insurance over (eek).
Tell us your story – we’d love to hear it in the comments below.