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Friend driving my car in a different state with bad weather conditions: Accident
My friend is from West Virginia, and I am from Washington. She came to visit me and we drove from Seattle, WA to Morgantown, WV.
In Nebraska the roads were quite unpleasant, and so we were going at about 60 in a 75 zone. (No driver was doing near the speed limit.)
She was driving my truck with WA license plates and naturally her license is from West Virginia.
We were driving across a bridge and the truck hit a patch of ice, it was a two lane bridge and there was a semi in the other lane. The truck started veering towards the semi, and she counter steered, and starting going towards the guard rail, she tried counter steering the other way, but no luck. We hit the
guardrail at about 45 mph, and we kept going, the ice made us slide back into the guard rail, and when we got off the bridge we were able to pull off at the rest area just about 100 feet past the bridge. We spent a while at the rest area, checking out damage, and the engine. We are both perfectly fine, and
the truck has no engine damage.
It has a LOT of body damage though. - No one behind us on the freeway stopped at the rest stop, so we didn't have any witnesses. As no other cars were involved we didn't think a police report was
necessary, and it was not even thought of until we stopped at a hotel later that night in Iowa.
Will my insurance still cover the damages, as she was driving, but had me in the car, and with no police report?
Most likely yes.
The Auto policies have a clause called the omnibus clause on it. This clause provides coverage for any and all permissive drivers of a car. If your friend was driving with your permission, you should be okay (which appears that she was). However, if she was specifically excluded from the policy, then she would not be covered.
The second spin of the situation here is the no police report, no impact with another vehicle. If I understand correctly a another vehicle (a truck) lost control and when your friend tried to avoid, she hit the guardrail, causing a lot of damage, but the two vehicles never contacted each other.
This is what sometimes is called a phantom vehicle claim. This claims could be covered under uninsured motorist coverage (it is assumed that the phantom vehicle did not have collectable insurance) if and only if you can prove that the accident happened. In many policies a police report is required, if you cannot produce a police report then coverage under uninsured property damage might not available.
In your case, you probably will only be covered under Collision coverage subject to your deductible. If you do not have Collision on your car, you might have to dispute the insurance company to see if uninsured property damage applies.
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