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One of the questions we often get asked is, “Who is insured to drive my car”?  A permissive user would be a third party you give permission to use your car, such as a co-worker. Auto insurance policies are not equal, and you should be aware that some auto insurance coverage may limit permissive users. The hidden danger occurs when the person you permitted to use your car then allows another person to use the car without your knowledge. Auto insurance protects you against financial loss if you have an accident. It is a contract between you and the insurance company. You agree to pay the premium and the insurance company agrees to pay your losses as defined in your policy.

Before you lend your car to anyone you should review your coverage or contact our office and have us provide an analysis for you. The following claim involved an accident involving a non-permissive user. Please note this was not one of our clients.

The case concerned two vehicles involved in an auto accident. The driver of one of the vehicles was the teenage boyfriend of the insured’s daughter. He was driving the insured’s vehicle without permission. In addition, the teenage male did not have any automobile insurance of his own. The driver of the other vehicle was also injured, and the investigation revealed that the teenage male was at fault. As a result, the owner’s insurance company was attempting to deny the claim, stating the responsible driver did not have permission to drive, therefore limiting coverage. Fortunately, the courts ruled against the insurance company and the claim was eventually paid. It is our hope that a phone call me to will resolve any questions before something like this occurs.

Just who is covered to drive your vehicle?

The driver must either be specifically listed by name on the San Diego automobile insurance policy, listed by category on the policy (i.e., household member), or fall under the category of a permissive user. A permissive user is someone you give permission to drive your vehicle. Some examples might be:

  1. A family member not living in the household
  2. A Mechanic
  3. Your Neighbor
  4. Someone who is test driving the vehicle prior to purchase

The issue comes into play when someone to whom you give permission to use the car, in turn allows another person to use the car (see above example). In most cases, that person is not permitted to drive and coverage could be reduced or limited in the event of an accident. It is possible that if your friend borrows your car and gets into an accident, your friend’s insurance policy might cover some of the damages, but that is not guaranteed either.

We are a full service independent insurance agency with the ability to help with all lines of insurance from personal auto, home, umbrella, boat, motorcycle, life and health, to the business owner with complex needs.  We represent many of the TOP insurance carriers and are available to listen, learn and guide you though your insurance needs. We will take a comprehensive approach to your insurance that considers the best balance of coverage and cost.  We are proud to be licensed in  Illinois, Kansas, and Missouri.

Posted 1:46 PM

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