What to do to contact the owner of a car if the at-fault driver was uninsured?

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What to do to contact the owner of a car if the at-fault driver was uninsured?

My wife was recently rear ended by a young college student that admitted to the police and the insurance company that he was at fault. He was cited. The problem is we just found out that the student was not listed on his mother’s policy but the car he was driving isinsured under the mother, who also owns the car. The insurance company is a major insurer and has already written up an estimate for the damage to my wife’s car. This morning the agent called and said they can’t move forward with the repairs until they get a statement from the mother that her son had permission to use the car. She will not return their calls and has ignored certified letters. Will the insurance still have to pay for our repairs since the car is insured by them?

Asked on December 6, 2011 under Accident Law, Georgia

Answers:

L.P., Member, Pennsylvania and New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Thank you for submitting your question regarding an at-fault driver being uninsured while the owner of the vehicle is insured.  This is a common scenario where children drive their parents’ vehicles, but are not listed on the parents’ insurance policy.  While it seems that the claim should automatically be covered because that at-fault, uninsured driver in your case was the son of the owner of the vehicle who is insured, the insurance company has policy guidelines that they need to follow to fully investigate the claim. 

The fact that the mother will not engage in contact with her own insurance company will only bring about more problems for her relationship with her insurance company.  All insurance company policies have clauses that state an insured must cooperate with the insurer for the investigation of claims under their policy.  A person cannot refuse to return phone calls or ignore written communication with their insurance company and think that this claim will simply go away. 

You could process your claim through your own insurance company, and then have your insurance company subrogate (attempt collection) of the money paid out from the other insurance carrier.  At some point in the process the parties will likely attend arbitration in which the other insurance carrier will need the statements of their insured to defend their case, and if they appear at the arbitration with no statements, they are likely to lose in the arbitration and your insurance company will get an award for repayment in their favor.

 


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