What are my rights if my policy states that my children can drive my vehicle but they weren’t named as drivers and my daughter was in a car accident?

The insurance adjuster told us verbally that the car is a total loss. They said they have to do an investigation because my daughter wasn’t named in the policy. The lienholder is threatening to repossess the vehicle.

Asked on June 26, 2014 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

If you have someone (like a child) who lives with you (rather than just occasionally visiting) and can regularly or frequently use the car (or who doesn't live with you, but again, regularly or frequently uses the car), then that person must be named as a driver on the policy (and you will, presumbly, pay somewhat more for a policy with more drivers, especially if any are young). If you fail to list them, the insurer may have grounds to disclaim coverage, forcing you to pay for any damage, losses, etc. yourself. A lienholder can respossess if you miss payments or otherwise do anything which the loan or security agreement(s) states is a default--check your agreements to see what qualifies.


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