A friend opened my car door and damaged another vehicle - am I liable?

A friend asked if someone with whom he had done a house and car swap, could drop off his car at my house. When the car arrived he had his wife and two teenage children with him. They needed to go to the local station to catch a train to Gatwick for their flight home, I offered to take them. At the station the son opened the car door and banged it against the next car, causing a small dent. The lady driver was sitting in the driver's seat and remonstrated with me. The wife of the couple I took to the station admitted liability and gave her full details to the husband who had just arrived. Am I liable in any way and will I lose my 100% clean insurance?

Asked on 28 August 2019 by John Cooper

Answered by Tim Kelly
Yes, you are liable and yes it will affect your insurance if the other party claims of you. The people in your car need to pay for the repairs to the other parties vehicle and then have placed in writing that the other party accepts their payment as full and final settlement for any potential claim against you. If they do this, you need not notify your insurers. If they do not do this, if there is a potential claim your insurers need to be aware of, you will need to notify them. Did this happen on private land? If so, it can be argued it is not covered under the Road Traffic act and that was the reason you have not contacted your insurer, as it is then a Civil matter. Make sure you have a letter confirming the situation from the couple.
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