Does an expired drivers license invalidate liability insurance?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 27, 2010

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Insurance Question from New York, NY

Asked on 07/27/2010

Does an expired drivers license invalidate liability insurance? My brother hit a bicyclist. His drivers license had expired 10 days previously. He is calling his insurance, but I wondered if there is a standard clause in most policies that would make his insurance invalid, or if this varies by the state.

Answer given on July 27, 2010

While a driver is expected to have a valid license when they purchase insurance, once the policy is in force, the insurance company should pay for any accident to involves the insured driver.  The insurance company is responsible to be sure the driver is still eligible for the insurance and if they have not taken any action then the policy remains in force.

There may be some special policies that say the insurance is invalid if there is not a licensed driver involved.  Your brother needs to talk to his insurance agent to see if there is any special exclusion.  He also needs to go to the Dept of Motor Vehicles and renew his license immediately,if he has not already done so.  A lapsed license is not usually an intentional action, often times it is just an oversight so no criminal intent is indicated.

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