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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: Nov 12, 2011

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Insurance Question from Cleveland, OH

Asked on 11/12/2011

liabilty yes i was in a accident, and ran into the back of this lady car, and knock off the bumper. i have insurance liabilty. well my question is, since i was in the accident, and i have liabilty insurance, i thought my insurance company would pay for it, instead the made my wife insurance pay for it, and my insurance company did not pay 1 cent to the lady, and i was the one driving, my wife was not even in the car, but the car is in her name. I pay every month, so why do i pay them every month, for insurance liabilty, and when i need them they pass the bill to my wife insurance company, and get off

Answer given on November 13, 2011

Auto insurance is set up that the responsible party in the insurance is the owner of the car, whether or not they are driving – the term being “insurance follows the car”. Since you were driving your wife’s car, that would be the insurance policy that will respond for the accident. Simply because your wife’s policy paid for the damages does not necessarily mean her insurance rates will go up. If you are not a listed driver on her policy or if you have a separate policy in your name, then your rates on your policy will be affected if the accident meets the criteria for a chargeable accident. There is a dollor threshold, so if the damage wasn’t high enough to reach the threshold, then your rates will not increase.If the damage was over the threshold,and you are listed as a driver on your wife’s insurance policy, you need to make sure that rates don’t increase on both policies. You should discuss this with your agent or insurance company to be sure the rates are properly applied.

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