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Thread: help with car insurance fine print

  1. #1

    help with car insurance fine print

    so i live with my girlfriend, who has recently chosen not to own a car (mostly because we live in a city with excellent public transportation and she's a lot more environmentally responsible than I am) and thus does not have any sort of auto insurance of her own. From time to time, she will take my car to run a quick errand (often for me) or take over driving for a stretch of a trip. I never really thought twice about whether or not she would be covered by my policy until the other day. I'm now taking a look at my policy to try to figure it all out and am not sure if I'm interpreting it correctly or not. By virtue of the fact that we live in the same household, my policy defines her a "resident relative". It further defines "the insured" (to mean one covered under the policy... I'm guessing) as:


    1. myself
    2. resident relatives - meaning her
    3. any other person while occupying the insured vehicle... that meets a few criteria such as using the vehicle with my knowledge/consent and not using it for a charge (cab, uber, shuttle, etc)


    This seems rather black and white to me, but maybe someone here knows something about auto coverage I don't and will correct me. It sounds like she'd be covered by my policy in the event of an accident/loss. That and the part about "any other person..." is kind of what my understanding of how insurance works is/was. Does that sound right?

    I will obviously have to confirm this all with my agent, but I'd like to go into the conversation armed with a somewhat decent grasp of the policy material they provided me with. I'd hate to have them convince me that she needs to be added to the policy, thus increasing the premium, if it's not actually necessary... and think there will be less of a chance of that happening if I come in "knowing my stuff".

    Any thoughts or insight would be greatly appreciated.


    UPDATE:
    I just came across something online stating that a vehicle available for regular use to another licensed driver (and the unmarried, co-habitation scenario is given as an example) must have that person named on the policy in order for them to be covered under the policy. Now that was on the web site of an insurance provider. I have yet to find any language like that in my actual policy. Anyone know if that's a pretty standard stipulation or if it may very well not apply to my policy?
    Last edited by daveh0; 02-21-2019 at 06:05 PM.

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    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
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  2. #2
    In my state you cannot have a drivers license without insurance of your own (at least liability insurance), so she wouldn't be able to legally drive anyone's car (or rent one) unless she had a policy of her own.

    not sure if that's the same in Colorado.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    In my state you cannot have a drivers license without insurance of your own (at least liability insurance), so she wouldn't be able to legally drive anyone's car (or rent one) unless she had a policy of her own.

    not sure if that's the same in Colorado.
    Definitely not the case here. Although proof of insurance (for the vehicle) is always asked for along with "license & registration" during all traffic stops by law enforcement. I had never experience that until moving to CO.

    So the question still remains....

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
    *************************************************************

  4. #4
    Dave, i am a license insurance agent for one of the largest companies in the U.S.. And you are right. If she lives in the household and does not have her own insurance and drives the vehicle more than once a month she needs to be added to the policy. And if you live in a state that recognizes the PIP law she needs to be added period.
    As far as driving a rental car on a trip she would need to be added as a co-insured on the policy not just a driver.
    If I was you i would go ahead and add her as a driver. if she has a clean drivers record it shouldn't be much.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by funklab View Post
    In my state you cannot have a drivers license without insurance of your own (at least liability insurance), so she wouldn't be able to legally drive anyone's car (or rent one) unless she had a policy of her own.

    not sure if that's the same in Colorado.
    I don't know about your state. But if someone has a legal drivers licence in all the states i know can drive anybody vehicle. But the insurance company has the right to exclude coverage if they found that the driver should of been listed on the policy.
    Remember if you loan your vehicle to someone insured or not your policy coverage is always first. And it will be considered a lending loss which will effect your renewal premium. Now if they are a member of your household and not listed on the policy or have their own insurance the insurance company may deny coverage and cancel the policy.

  6. #6
    Thanks Rainman - just the kind of info I was looking for (from an unbiased source). It sounds like there's still some grey area, but it also sounds like it might be playing with fire. I believe I'll just add her and take it off of my list of things to stress about on the daily. Thanks again!

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
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  7. #7
    So just to close the loop, when I called, they said that as long as she would be driving only sporadically with my knowledge/consent, she technically didn't have to be added, BUT we did add her anyway as there was no increase in premium. Not what I expected to hear at all, but I'll take it.

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by daveh0 View Post
    So just to close the loop, when I called, they said that as long as she would be driving only sporadically with my knowledge/consent, she technically didn't have to be added, BUT we did add her anyway as there was no increase in premium. Not what I expected to hear at all, but I'll take it.
    Every company has their own guidelines. The company i work for is more than once a month and living in household without their own insurance policy must be added.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by TheRainman View Post
    Every company has their own guidelines. The company i work for is more than once a month and living in household without their own insurance policy must be added.
    Yup my agent said that's actually the more common scenario with most carriers. I guess I lucked out... and/or have been paying for this added perk the whole time I've been with them. Anyway, it's working out well now, and I'm definitely glad I asked/told my agent about it otherwise I'd be a wreck second guessing it all anytime my gf did drive the car.

    *************************************************************
    *** c4/c5 incomplete *** Injured in Summer 2003 ***
    *************************************************************

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