What to do if my son recently ran off the road and totaled his car?

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What to do if my son recently ran off the road and totaled his car?

When I informed my insurance company; it said that I had liability only. He is 20 years old and the car was paid for. Upon looking at the policy he is not listed on the policy, just my ex-wife (who should not be) is still. His name appears no where only the car VIN number and mine. Does the insurance follow the car or the driver. I don’t understand how they could cover anything if he is not on the policy.

Asked on April 22, 2014 under Accident Law, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, the answer is not simple and will depend on the circumstances; there is a good chance it could be unfavorable to you. Your insurance will cover unlisted drivers who *occasionally* use or borrow your car--for example, a friend or sibling to whom you lend your car either because there is in the shop for a day or two or because they need (for example) a larger car than their own. If someone regularly drives a car you own--and particularly if they are a driver who lives with you (or regularly stays with you, like, for example, a college-age  child who is with you  on weekends), you are under an obligation to have them listed on your policy (and most likely, pay an increased premium). If you don't list regular or common drivers of your car, you are in default of your obligations under your policy and/or may be considered to be trying to defraud the insurer; in either event, coverage would be declined.

So in this case, if your son is not a regular driver of your car, your liability insurance would still cover him. However, liability insurance would not help with the cost to repair your own vehicle, since that would be collision coverage.


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