unisured motorist

My son is out of state for college. The car he drives is in my name and the insurance was as well; he was an added driver. He rear-ended his room mate at a stop sign in their development. No police were called. We found out right after this that the insurance had lapsed. Within 2 hours of the accident we had the vehicle insured. He paid the room mate the deductible in cash with a receipt signed by both parties. Now the insurance company is calling me, the parent, stating my driving privilege is in jeopardy due the unpaid claim. it seems they did not receive the receipt. they also say their is a police report unsure how that is since no police were called to the sceneKeep in mind the accident happened 2 months ago. The vehicle is in my name and at the time of accident he technically did not have insurance on the vehicle, I was not the one that had the accident, no police were called. My son is over 18 as well. I’m not sure how to proceed at this point other than having my son call the insurance company. I have received no paperwork, no reports thus far – just 1 call.

Asked on April 3, 2018 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

You are liable for your son's accident because you are the registered owner of the vehicle even though you were not present at the scene of the accident. Purchasing insurance shortly after the accident does not change the fact that at the time of the accident, the vehicle was uninsured.  The driver not at fault in the accident can file an uninsured motorist claim with his insurance company.  That insurance company can sue you to recover the amount it paid on the claim.  As for having your license suspended, that would be action taken by the Dept. of Motor Vehicles for your uninsured vehicle.  Paying a fine and providing proof of insurance to the DMV may put a stop to that, but this varies from state to state, so it would be prudent to check with your state's DMV regarding its requirements.
It would be advisable not to contact the other party's insurance carrier, but just to respond when it contacts you, the registered owner of the vehicle.


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