Friday, August 29, 2008
Family Use of Car? Final answer -- Yes.
Okay, so I understand from what everybody was saying is that if something would happen then my wife's parents' insurance would cover it. If that is the case, then yes, I trust them 100%. Her father is a good driver, and I don't believe anything would happen -- it was the RISK of SOMEONE ELSE doing something to THEM (uninsured) that I was concerned about, and the insurance ramifications of such an occurrence.
To be specific, my fear was that if something happened, I know my wife's parents would do the right thing -- whether that would be using their insurance to repair damage done to the car or even offering to pay for repairs themselves. However, I *do* know that if for some reason something happened while they were driving the car and their insurance *didn't* cover any damages, then UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES would my wife let me take money from them and she would make us eat the losses. For that reason, I told my wife "absolutely not" regarding lending out the car.
Overall, my thoughts circled around financial risks of "what-ifs." If something happened to the car, at this point, we couldn't afford to repair or replace it (we barely can make the payments now), which means that I wouldn't be able to get to work and my job might end up in jeopardy. This is a risk I couldn't take. Yes, we have a piece-of-junk van that I just picked up from my dad's that is drivable -- for now. But! It 1) is a gas guzzler, 2) has 200,000 miles on it, 3) looks like a big box, 4) has no air conditioning, 5) the windows don't open, 6) the radio doesn't turn on, 7) is very dirty inside, 8) the rear door is broken and doesn't open, 9) will likely break down and go to the junkyard within the year. So, in short, I wasn't willing to take the risk of something happening to the Accord because if something happened to that car, I might have some problems getting to work.
In the end, her parents rented a car anyway and the fight kind of just went away. She was slightly upset that I didn't let her offer to use our car. If she asked me about it again, after reading your e-mails and knowing that their insurance would likely cover any damages, I'd say yes and just resort to "hoping and praying" that nothing went wrong.