If I have just transferred ownership of a car to my 20 year old son who is on my policy, can I be held liable in the event that he has an accident?

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2014

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

If I have just transferred ownership of a car to my 20 year old son who is on my policy, can I be held liable in the event that he has an accident?

He is a student living at home. He is currently covered by my auto insurance policy. I have been assured by one insurance agent that if he has an accident, I will have no liability beyond the limits of the insurance coverage. Another agent for a different company is saying that as long as he is on my insurance policy, I can be be personally liable. Who is correct?

Asked on March 19, 2014 under Accident Law, California


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

If your son is at fault in an accident and the case is NOT settled with your insurance carrier, you will be liable and will be named as a defendant in a lawsuit.  Liability for negligence in a personal injury claim from an auto accident would include compenation for the medical bills, compensation for pain and suffering, which is an amount in addition to the medical bills and compensation for wage loss.  If the property damage to the vehicle that was not at fault in the accident has not been settled, you would also be liable for that.

It would be advisable for your son to have his own insurance policy.  Then you would not be potentially liable since he is an adult and is the registered owner of the vehicle. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption