What is my Wife and I’s liability for our unlicensed son getting into an accident on private property?

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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: Aug 15, 2015

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Insurance Question from Annapolis, WA

Asked on 08/15/2015

What is my Wife and I’s liability for our unlicensed son getting into an accident on private property? My son who has no driver's license got into my wife's car last night to show off the radio for a date. He turned it on, revved the engine, and somehow backed into another vehicle in a private parking structure. The registered owner of the car that was hit has no insurance, based on the age and condition of their car I would guess it is totaled. My son admitted guilt and my wife gave them our insurance on scene. There were no injuries, no police contact, and my son and his date are the only witnesses. My wife has to keep a clean driving record for work.

Answer given on August 21, 2015

In auto insurance the coverage follows the car. So in your case, the damages to the other party’s car will be covered by your wife’s car insurance. The fact that the other party does not have insurance has no effect on your wife’s responsibility.Since your wife was not driving, her license is not affected and her rates will not be increased. However, the insurance company may want to exclude your son from her insurance going forward. If he gets his driver’s license in the future, this accident can affect his insurance rates since it would be considered an at fault accident, even though he technically was not driving the car.A police report is not required since the incident occurred on private property. Your wife should contact her insurance company to report the claim as they will need to speak with her and probably your son before they can proceed with the claim for the other party.


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