Are my assets liable if my niece or nephew have an accident being that their father now lives with me?

My brother lives with me since his divorce. I own my home. His name is not on the home only mine. He has insurance with one agent and I have with another. I have him on my umbrella. They are trying to say I have to put my niece and nephew, ages 23 and 21, on the umbrella. They live with their mom and get their mail at her house. My brother owns their vehicles and has them on his policy. I don’t see how I can be liable for them in a major accident.

Asked on July 3, 2017 under Accident Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

1) You are not liable if they are adults and do not drive any vehicles owned by you. One adult is not liable for the accidents of other adults, even family members, unless those others get in an accident in his/her car, etc.
IF they do drive your car ever, however, and are in an accident, you could be held liable; in that case, unless there were on your insurance, your insurer could likely legally decline or refuse coverage.
2) The above said, insurers are allowed to put out their own requirements for coverage: there is no inherent right to be covered by any given insurer, after all, and insurers voluntarily determine what they require for coverage. If the insurer is insisting on them being added, you will have to add them or else find some other insurer which does not require this.

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