Can my daughter’s insurer deny a claim if her boyfriend was driving her car at the time of an accident?

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Can my daughter’s insurer deny a claim if her boyfriend was driving her car at the time of an accident?

My daughter allowed her boyfriend to drive her car. While driving, he was hit by another driver who was cited and they exchanged information. Once claim was filed, turns out the other driver had failed to pay premiums, thus insurance lapsed. My daughter’s insurance company is threatening to deny her claim because her boyfriend is not a listed driver. Is this feasible and would hiring an attorney help her battle them?

Asked on April 15, 2016 under Accident Law, Florida

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The issue is how often did he drive, or how likely is it he would drive. If this was a more or less one-time loan, then they should cover the claim--people can occasionally lend their cars out while being covered. But if he fairly frequently or regularly drove her car, or if they live together, so he is a driver in her household, then knowing that he would (or at least would very likely) drive her car, he should have been listed as an authorized driver and coverage could legally be declined if he was not.
In the former case, your daughter would have a reasonable (not certain; court is never certain, and never believe an attorney who tells you it is) chance of winning, if she sues her insurer to force them to pay. (Of course, if she hires an attorney, depending on the extent/cost of the damage, she could spend more on the lawsuit than she'd get back.) In the latter case, she'd very likely lose.


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