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Tina
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31702
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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my two sons were in a car accident a couple of days ago. the

Customer Question

my two sons were in a car accident a couple of days ago. the car insurance place said we might not be insured because the son that was driving is not listed on the car. He does have motorcycle insurance and a valid drivers license. The son who was in the passenger seat is listed as a driver. The car belongs to my father who passed away last May. The insurance is still under his name due to estate issues but my oldest son is on the policy. I'm separated and the son that was driving lives at both our residences. The car flipped over and is a total loss. The car is also garaged at my residence, which insurance knows. Can the insurance company not cover us? The car has been paid off 3 weeks ago and my sister who is the executor of my fathers estate got the title back the same day as the accident and she was going to sign the title over to my son. She hasn't yet though.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX my goal is to provide you with excellent service today. I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. Before I can give you an accurate answer to your question, please provide the following additional information:

The son who was driving is not listed on the insurance policy as an excluded driver is he?

I look forward to assisting you as soon as I have received this information. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

He is not listed as excluded. He doesn't normally drive the car.

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
I see. Thank you for clarifying that, Robert.

No, the insurer should not deny the claim because he was not listed as a regular driver. Typically, the vehicle would be covered for any licensed driver who you provide your permission to drive as long as they are not specifically excluded on the policy or the policy expressly states that it only covers the stated drivers.

However, the insurer could lead you to believe that the damages would not be covered and deny the policy. If that occurs, you should retain a local attorney to represent you in pursuing legal action against the insurer. They could be held liable for bad faith refusal to pay if there is no reasonable basis to deny the claim, so a demand letter from the insurer often is enough to motivate them to pay when the policy requires it.

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need so I will be compensated for my time from the deposit you posted with this website. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Thank you!

Tina

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thank you for your response. It is full coverage insurance. Do auto insurance policies typically say that they only cover the stated drivers?

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome. No, they do not normally include such a provision. The suggestion that the vehicle might not be covered because your son who wasn't listed on the policy was driving would cause me to review the policy though.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Ok. What about the fact they may believe my brother is a resident at my apartment and the car is garaged here. Because my sister is listed as the benefactor to my father's estate and the title hasn't been signed over, does that make her residence the household that the policy is considered to be under? The policy states, "are all operators listed? Failure to list a household member or any individual who customarily operates your auto may have very serious consequences".

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Hello again, Robert.

Whose residence is listed on the policy? Does your son who was driving the vehicle live at that residence?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

mine is now. He does live here now, although he stays at his mother's sometimes too and has been listed under that one for student loans and some mailings. I'm not sure what his official residence would be considered to be or how to determine that.

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Where the vehicle is actually garaged would typically be the appropriate address and the insurer normally has an obligation to notify the insurer of any changes in address where the vehicle is garaged or kept.

If it is at your address and your son lives with you, then that would normally provide the insurer with a basis to deny coverage. I'm sorry, but since it indicates that all family members must be listed, that would typically provide the insurer with grounds to deny the claim.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

But I believe he legally lives with his mother and just stays here at times, which isn't untrue. Is that not grounds to state that he isn't a resident here?

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Yes, if his mother has primary custody and you have visitation, that would typically provide grounds to state that he is not a resident in your household, but being a "household member" as listed on the policy does not necessarily mean he is a full-time resident. He could still be a member of your household on a part-time basis, although residing with his mother the majority of the time for purposes of establishing residency.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

he's 21 years old, so no one has custody of him.

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
I see. If he lives with you, then he should typically be listed as a household member. If he lives somewhere else and was just staying with you temporarily, then he would not normally be considered a household member which you must list on the policy.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

ok he is just staying temporarily. Last question. Since he has been staying here at times he may have said that he lives with me in his recorded statement today, im not sure. If he did mistakenly say that even though he technically lives with his mother, can he retract what he said due to misunderstanding his statement?


 

Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.
Yes, you can seek to clarify the situation with the insurer. If the matter goes to litigation, they can use his statement against you, but you would typically have the opportunity to explain there as well.
Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 31702
Experience: JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Expert:  Tina replied 1 year ago.

Thank you very much for your positive rating of my service. It has been my pleasure to assist you and I hope you will ask for me should a future legal need arise.

If you receive a Customer Satisfaction Survey from JustAnswer, please consider scoring me a 9 or 10. It benefits my ability to assist you and other customers, and would be tremendously appreciated.

Thanks again and all the best to you.

Tina

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