Permitting a specifically excluded driver to operate your vehicle predisposes you to costly legal and financial implications. Below is a look at the liabilities you may face if a specifically excluded driver operates your vehicle.
Who is a specifically excluded driver?
A specifically excluded driver is an individual explicitly prohibited from possessing coverage under automobile insurance. This person is not insured to drive any of the vehicles on an insured’s policy. An individual may become an excluded driver for many reasons—accidents, violations, medical conditions.
Who should I exclude from my insurance policy?
In most households, children, spouses or relatives who obtain a valid driver’s license are listed under the same automobile insurance policy. This situation presents a unique risk for insurance companies because multiple drivers may share a vehicle. It is imperative that you inform your insurer of all licensed drivers in your household as it may impact your premiums and coverage.
To protect yourself and your assets, you should consider not just the individuals required to be listed on your policy, but those that should be excluded as well.
The following individuals should be specifically excluded from your policy, if they are not already:
- High-risk drivers. These are drivers with multiple accidents, multiple traffic violations, or DUI convictions. An insurer accepts great risk when covering a high-risk driver, which makes finding an affordable policy for such drivers difficult.
- Accident-prone drivers. These are drivers with a recent history of involvement in automobile accidents.
- Medically excluded drivers. These are drivers with a disabling medical condition or other implication which make it unsafe for them to operate a vehicle.
It is pertinent that a specifically excluded driver does not operate your vehicle because if a crash results, your insurance company will not cover the damages. Furthermore, even you, the insured, can be held personally liable.
The Legal Limits of Your Insurance Coverage
Automobile insurance generally covers damages for all drivers under a policy regardless of fault. This coverage alleviates the insured’s financial responsibility for medical bills and property damage.
However, if you allow a specifically excluded driver to operate your vehicle, you are 100% liable for all damages—including the damage done to your own vehicle.
Why am I Personally Liable?
An excluded driver is technically uninsured, making it illegal for that individual to operate a vehicle in Pennsylvania. In the event that you permit an excluded driver to operate your vehicle and a crash ensues, you will be held liable for the resultant damages.
Your automobile insurance will not provide any coverage for the costs you face. Further, they are not required to indemnify or provide a defense, because the coverage was not available based upon the exclusion.
If a specifically excluded driver causes an accident while driving your vehicle, you will face significant financial and legal implications. It is pertinent that you comply with your insurance policy and understand the applicability of your coverage.
Know Your Terms
Do you understand the terms of your automobile insurance policy? To protect yourself from future legal and financial implications, you should review your automobile insurance policy and ensure that you abide by its terms.
Have questions pertaining to review or interpretation of your insurance policy and applicable coverages? Contact your legal counsel or one of the insurance litigators at KingSpry.