Is an insured party’s vehicle covered by insurance if they knowingly let a relative with a suspended driver’s license drive and they have an accident?

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Is an insured party’s vehicle covered by insurance if they knowingly let a relative with a suspended driver’s license drive and they have an accident?

I was in an accident for which I was sued by the vehicle owner’s insurer but her daughter was

driving on a suspended license. Now since I haven’t been able to pay on judgement they obtained, they have suspended my license.

Asked on May 4, 2018 under Insurance Law, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

When someone knowingly lets a driver whose license is suspended (or revoked) drive their vehicle, then their coverage for any accident that that person has is voided. That having been said, in this case the unisured driver was not at fault. Accordingly, the owner of the vehicle that was hit can still make a claim against the at fault driver's insurer or sue the driver directly. Since this is what happened in your case and a judgement was awarded, until it is paid off your license will remain suspended.  

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Generally, knowing letting someone with a suspended license (or an expired one, or who never had a license, etc.) voids your insurance coverage for that accident, because you are allowing someone to drive who legally may not drive, and contracts (and that's what an insurance policy is: a contract) are voided for illegality. In addition, the policy itself most likely has language specifically to the effect that it does not apply if you let somone drive who may not lawfully do so, and such language or provisions are legal and enforceable.


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