When Test Drives Go Bad: Understanding Your Liability

If you have made the decision to purchase a new vehicle, you may be looking forward to driving several vehicles to determine which make and model best suits your needs. While test driving a car before you make an offer is essential when it comes to identifying potential mechanical problems and getting a feel for the comfort of the vehicle, it's important that you understand your financial liability before you get behind the wheel of a car you do not own.

Here are three things you should understand about the relationship between your auto insurance policy and test drives to protect yourself in the future.

1. A dealership's insurance policy should cover damages.

If you get into an accident while test driving a vehicle from a dealership, then insurance policy carried by the dealership should cover the damages. You should take the time to ask the sales rep about the insurance coverage provided before you get behind the wheel, since smaller dealerships may not provide the same level of coverage as larger dealerships.

You don't want to find yourself in a position where you receive the bill for damages sustained during a test drive, so know the auto insurance coverage you will enjoy before you get behind the wheel of a dealer's car.

2. Don't sign a waiver unless you talk to your insurance agent first.

If a car dealership asks you to sign a waiver before taking a test drive, this waiver could leave you financially liable for any damages sustained during an accident. Before you head to the dealership to take some test drives, stop by your insurance agent's office first.

Ask about potential short-term riders that you can add to your existing auto policy to provide coverage for test drives. This will help you rest assured knowing that if a dealership requires a waiver, you will still be covered if an accident occurs.

3. Ask to see a private seller's proof of insurance.

When you are purchasing a vehicle through a private seller, the seller's auto insurance policy should cover any damages sustained during a test drive. The insurance company would view you as a permissive driver, and most insurance policies provide financial protection for permissive drivers.

You will want to ask a private seller to show you his or her proof of insurance before taking a test drive to ensure the vehicle has proper coverage before you get behind the wheel.

Understanding the relationship between test drives and auto insurance will help you ensure that you enjoy financial coverage for any potential damages that may occur if a test drive goes badly for you in the future.

Check out http://www.denverautoinsurancecompany.com for further information.