An Unlisted Driver Crashed My Car: What to Expect
Someone else crashed your car. They’ve had an incident and your beloved wheels have ploughed into someone else’s. Both cars are damaged. Your friend is ok, luckily. So is the other driver. But they’re not listed on your policy, and…wait, what? They’re an unlisted driver?! What now? Does your car insurance pay? Is there an unlisted driver excess?
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. An unlisted driver excess is usually attached to these claims though. And no, some places don’t cover a claim if someone crashed your car and wasn’t on your insurance. 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. (By the way, do you know if car insurance pays out even if an accident is your fault?)
It’s a big decision to allow an unlisted driver take the wheels of your car. 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. There are some safety risks associated with sharing your car, so 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
Sometimes, an insurer will consider claims where an unlisted driver has driven your car. You’ll know this, because it will be in your PDS. But know the unlisted driver excess payment for this claim – if it is 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 or not.
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.
For example, you claim for a total of $4,000. If your standard excess is $500 you’ll pay that only. 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. You can often choose a high or low excess in exchange for a different monthly premium.
- Age excess – Younger drivers are statistically at higher risk of being involved in an accident. That’s why young drivers pay more for car insurance. To account for the added risk, insurers offer various age excesses. Under 25 drivers often have an added excess.
- Inexperienced driver excess – There is sometimes an additional excess if 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 at all.
If an unlisted driver was driving your car at the time of an incident, you may not covered. Not all car insurance covers an unlisted driver. Check your PDS to find out what types of excess your insurer offers and which apply to your policy.
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 car.
Most insurers will allow you to add drivers to a single policy, up to a maximum number. So if your partner or sibling occasionally drives your car, specify it.
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…eek. Enough said.