Does Automobile Insurance Follow the Car or the Driver?

By Gary Wickert | June 5, 2014

  • September 12, 2016 at 12:01 pm
    Lawrence says:
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    Hello. My son, who is on your policy, was involved in a accident that caused injury to the other driver. We have liability limits of 100,000/300,000 on our policy. The driver of the other car has demanded $100,000 be paid to resolve his bodily injury claim within 15 days. Our auto insurance has nearly quadrupled now. Is this normal? If we remove our son from the auto insurance policy, will it still be that high? If so, for how long? Will it be hard to switch to another auto insurance company for a lower premium?

  • September 12, 2016 at 12:45 pm
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    Your premium quadrupled because of what? Other accidents? Rather than focus on finding cheaper insurance (which quite possibly might be cheaper because it covers less or the carrier has more restrictive claims adjusting), why not focus on not having claims?

    How old is your son? Does he live with you? If so, you’re probably better off, if possible, leaving him on your policy. Depending on the policy language, if your son insures the auto on his own policy but you’re still legally liable in some way for an accident he causes, YOUR policy might not cover YOU and you’d be stuck, at best, as an insured on his likely minimum limits/coverage policy.

  • September 19, 2016 at 9:43 pm
    Marc Babin says:
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    I have full coverage with Allstate on a honda and was driving my daughters Audi car with all but collision coverage with Geico. I opened my door in traffic and a possibly speeding car hit my door. Liability aside since my daughter doesn’t have collision coverage how are we going to get the car fixed. Will my Allstate collision coverage cover it? Is my liability for opening the door the way to go?

    • September 20, 2016 at 11:31 am
      InsuranceCommentary.com says:
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      The Allstate and GEICO policies are different. Each contract stands on its own merits. In most states your liability coverage excludes damage to any property you own, rent, or that is your care, custody or control.

      There are some exceptions by state or insurer, but for most insurers (using the “ISO standard” personal auto policy for comparison), your physical damage coverage extends to nonowned autos on an excess basis less your deductible. Since she has no collision coverage, your policy will likely cover the damage less the deductible.

      HOWEVER, the ISO policy defines “nonowned auto” to exclude autos owned by or furnished or available for the regular use of resident family members. So, if your daughter is a resident of your household, this exclusionary language would preclude your policy’s physical damage extending to her auto.

      Interestingly, there is a similar exclusion on the ISO policy for liability, medical payments, and in many states uninsured motorists coverage, BUT an exception is made to some extent for the named insured and resident spouse. For example, liability coverage extends to the use of resident family member’s autos as long is the auto is occupied or being maintained by the named insured or resident spouse.

      And, again, these coverages and exclusions often vary by insurer and even policies within an insurer’s group of companies. Confusing? This is why smart people use a knowledgeable agent when buying insurance rather than enter into what is a complex legal contract online without assistance.

      Bottom line…Insurance is NOT a Commodity. The policies and the claims practices of insurers make all the difference in whether a specific set of claim circumstances are covered.

  • October 29, 2016 at 6:30 pm
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    Coverage does depend on state and each companies individual policies. Be sure to ask this specifically when getting a new quote from an insurance agent.

  • November 8, 2016 at 7:47 am
    patricia says:
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    mi son in federal prision since dec 22 2015 his girlfriend n him did live 112 heaTH LN IN WINCHESTER OK WE MOVED THERE STUFF IN AN ABANDONED TRAILER WHICH WE OWN NOT LIVABLE BUT SHE NEVER DID STAY HERE BUT REST OFV DEC JAN FEB N MARCH SHE WENT BAK TO HER DAS OR MOMS OR AUNTS IDK SHE WASNT HERE AND SHE BORROWED HIS CAR 3E TIMES ON SEPT 31 2016 SHE SUOPOSE TO BRING SUV BAK ON THAT FRI NITE COULD BEEN 30 ALL I KNOW IS SAT OCT 1 SHE HAD A WRECK N SHE BORROWED SUV ON THAT FRI N I DIDNT KNOW SHE SENT ME A TEXT SHE OIN WAY HOME TO BRING CAR AT 9 SOMETHING PM N SHE WERCKED ON SAT OCT 1 2016 WELL MI SON HE IS A FOOL HE DONT KNOW SHE WASNT STATING AT MI PLACE N I HANDED HER THE KEYS ON THRUSDAY BUT SHE HAD NO ASSESS TO THE SUV ON THRUSDAY BUT FRI SHE PARKEDMI SONS SUV AT HER GRANDMAS WHERE SHE STAYS P TIME ALSO AND INSV REFUSES TO PAY HE MI SON WAS IN CHATTANOOGA IN DEC THRU APRIL N THEN IN BRADLEY COUNTY IN THRU SEPT LORD THEN OSCILLA GEORGIA GEORGIA TILL OCT END OF OCT N THEN TALLEGDA ALABAMA HE TOLD INS COMPANY SHE LIVED HERE I DIDNT HAVE THE HEART TO TELL HIM ANY DIFFERENT BUT HE NEV ER EVEN LIVED HERE JUST CHANGE HIS ADDRESS TO HERE SO I COULD GET HIS MAILWAT TO D????

  • November 16, 2016 at 1:50 am
    Dion says:
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    I’m in California and I purchased a used vehicle. I am insured by Progressive. Two days later I get in an accident, however didn’t yet get in on my policy yet. Is there a grace period for new purchases?

    • November 18, 2016 at 2:56 pm
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      Usually but not always and even those who do provide a grace period have varying terms and conditions. What does your policy say? Did you buy through an agent who can help you?

  • November 16, 2016 at 11:58 am
    Erika says:
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    I live in Florida. My boyfriend recently got into a car accident and has since cancelled his car insurance since he no longer has a car of his own. We have been sharing my car, and I needed to know if we would be covered in the event that my car was crashed. My vehicle is insured. Do I need to add him to my insurance plan?

  • December 2, 2016 at 11:55 am
    Ron Clark says:
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    I live and insure my vehicle in Florida with state minimum coverage ($10K PIP and Property Damage only… no Bodily Injury, no Comprehensive, no Collision and no Uninsured Motorists coverage). Recently, my friend had to drive my car in order to take me to the ER at the hospital. She caused an accident, which damaged my car and injured the driver and passenger in the other vehicle in addition to physical damage to the other vehicle.

    As the owner of the car at fault, my insurance is covering some of the physical damage and the other driver’s lawyer has gone to the insurance of the driver of my vehicle for bodily injury claims and property damage claims in excess of my coverage.

    Since I have no collision or comprehensive coverage, I was wondering if I can also make a claim against the policy of the lady who was driving my car. She is not a household member or a regular driver of my car. I believe she should be liable for the damages. What say you experts? Should I pursue a claim for property damage to my vehicle against her insurance???

    • December 2, 2016 at 2:44 pm
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      If her policy in this respect is equivalent to the “ISO standard” form, there is an exclusion for damage to property in her care, custody or control.

  • March 27, 2017 at 9:34 am
    Deborah B Marino says:
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    My question is this: “What are the liabilities/dynamics if someone is living in their car?”

  • April 7, 2017 at 4:48 pm
    LISA K STURSA says:
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    If someone is living in their car deborah, 99.9% sure the don’t have any insurance.

    However, a car is not a home. For that they need Homeowners Insurance, lol



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