DISCLAIMER: David J. McCormick is licensed to practice law in the State of Wisconsin and this answer is being provided for informational purposes only because the laws of your jurisdiction may differ. This answer based on general legal principles and is not intended for the purpose of providing specific legal advice or opinions. Under no circumstances does this answer constitute the establishment of an attorney-client relationship.
Negligent entrustment is a cause of action in tort law that arises where one party (the entrustor) is held liable for negligence because they negligently provided another party (the entrustee) with a dangerous instrumentality, and the entrusted party caused injury to a third party with that instrumentality. The cause of action most frequently arises where one person allows another to drive their automobile.The doctrine of vicarious liability provides that an employer is liable for the torts of an employee under an agency theory, even if the employer did nothing wrong; negligent entrustment, however, requires proof of actual negligence on part of the employer before the injury occurred, when the entrustee was entrusted with the dangerous instrumentality.
People that are listed on your policy enjoy the full benefits of your policy coverages with no restrictions. For those that borrow your car that aren’t listed, they are generally covered as long as you have given them permission to use your car; this is called “Permissive Use” and all policies have some form of, or interpretation of, permissive use. Excluded drivers are never covered nor are un-named drivers who “use the vehicle without a reasonable belief that the person is entitled to do so” (sometimes referred to as “theft”).
Depending on the company you are insured with, interpretations of permissive use can vary dramatically and some insurance carriers are very strict in their enforcement of the rules.
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