Is an insurance company liable if a deceased insured’s car is driven by their daughter and she has an accident?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Is an insurance company liable if a deceased insured’s car is driven by their daughter and she has an accident?

I was hit by a lady who was driving her deceased mother’s car. The daughter gave

her mother’s insurance information to the police that the insurance was still being paid. However, now the insurance company is telling me that they won’t pay to get my car repaired because they need proof that the daughter had a legal right to drive her mother’s car. I’m not sure what to do now.

Asked on February 13, 2017 under Accident Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

No, the insurer would not be liable if the daughter did not have the legal right to drive: insurance only covers legal or permitted drivers of the car. If the mother died and the daughter simply started using her car without having the authority, as the estate's personal representative or without inheriting the car after probate, to drive it, that is essentially the same as if someone stole the car--the insurance doesn't cover it.
You can, of course, sue the daughter personally for the damage she did and look to collect from her, regardless of the state of the insurance.

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 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.

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