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Accident while in a test drive

by John

I was recently involved in an accident with another driver while test driving a vehicle owned by a dealership. no sales associate was in the vehicle at the time only myself and nephew.

Neither party involved in the accident called authorities or filed a police report - we both returned to the dealership and filled out paper work provided by the dealer.

I was asked for my insurance as was the other party and both wrote down their information and exchanged. i asked the dealer for their insurance and when filling out my portion provided the dealership's insurance information.

my question is - was that wrong? I carry full coverage on my vehicle, but was not in my vehicle at the time. i had signed no paper work, in fact, they didn't even take a copy of my id prior to releasing the vehicle. should i furnish my insurance when i know that it is insured by them? morally it fells wrong, but technically i don't believe I'm liable.


Hello John,

Well, you have to carefully read you own insurance policy. In fact, then insurance adjusters must read your insurance policy and the dealership insurance policy.

To learn how to read a policy (does not read like a book), visit:

Usually, you are liable for damages you cause to a vehicle while test driving the car. However, insurance follows the vehicle.

That is why dealers make you sign things so you assume all responsibility for any/damage (that way your insurance company is on the hook for everything).

If you did not sign anything making you solely responsible for the damage, then their insurance company could be on the hook for the damages.

Do not feel that this is morally wrong. It is not. The key is in how an insurance policy reads. You are responsible for the damages that you caused.

There is no way around that. However, insurance policies consider the driver the insured. In other words, you could be considered an "insured" under the dealership policy, meaning that they would cover the risk that they assumed for people just like you. Exactly what the dealership pays premium for.

The dealership will tell you that you must pay for everything and that you assumed every single thing, this is incorrect.

Simply provide your insurance information and allow for the insurance adjuster to do an investigation.

They have to read both policies and look to see if you are covered under the dealership policy (probably since you did not assume any responsibility).

If you are covered under the definition of insured or there are no exclusions for vehicles being on test drives, your policy will act as the secondary coverage, but your primary policy will be the dealership.

An investigation must be done, and their insurance company could potentially pay 100% of the damage.

I hope this helps

Comments for Accident while in a test drive

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Jul 28, 2011
Accident while test driving
by: Anonymous

Recently was involved in an accident while test driving a new car. Police were called and it was deemed a no fault accident as stated on police report. My insurance company told me I am liable to pay for damage on the other vehicle involved. Even though the other person said damage was nothing, not to worry, to the police officer. What are my rights?

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