What to do if my insurance policy contains 2 inconsistentprovisions?

UPDATED: Oct 12, 2011

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What to do if my insurance policy contains 2 inconsistentprovisions?

My insurance states in a general provision that it will not cover claims if: Auto is being operated by a resident of your household or by a regular user of your covered auto. But it also states, “Please be advised anyone who drives a vehicle in your household only on a regular basis must be listed on your policy. Regular basis is defined by being driven twice or more in any given week or once a week on a consistent basis.” So which is correct? If someone lives in my house but never drives the car I don’t need them on the policy?

Asked on October 12, 2011 under Insurance Law, Indiana


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

How this would be interpreted in the event of a lawsuit is best asked to an attorney in your area who knows the case law on the matter.  Judges interpret statutes and contracts - which is what this is: a contract  -  and the cases are generally fact specific.   The matter often arises when a child reaches the age to drive and obtains a license.  When parents do not add them to the policy and they drive the family car and get in to an accident the insurance company wants to try and disclaim coverage.  I can tell you that contract provisions that seem to be ambiguous or inconsistent are generally construed against  the person or entity that wrote them.  If as you say this person lives in your household but does not drive the vehicle then it appears that you do not have to list them on the policy.  But it will be your burden to prove that they do not drive it and that you safeguard your keys - do not keep them out in the open - so that they do not have access to them, etc.  Good luck.

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