There are lots of ways to save money on your car insurance, but is it always the right thing to do? As a Long Beach car accident lawyer, I have seen that some savings are not worth it.
California law requires all drivers to purchase at least a minimum amount of liability insurance. You can control the cost by adjusting how much coverage you buy and what deductible you set. But the main factor in determining your insurance premium, is risk. Insurance carriers judge risk using several factors. One of them is who will be driving the car. If you are living with someone who has a bad driving record or a suspended license, you can save money by excluding him from your insurance policy. But is that always wise?
What is an Excluded Driver?
When you purchase liability insurance for your automobile, you need to provide the insurance company with a lot of information. This includes who you live with, and who will be driving your car. The insurance company will determine if these individuals are a good risk or a bad risk. When an insurer considers an individual a bad risk, they will automatically be excluded from the policy. In some cases, the insurance company will cover a riskier driver, but at a high premium. You can save money by choosing to have a risky driver “excluded” from your policy.
If you loan your car to someone and he has an accident, that driver is typically covered under your policy. However, someone who is excluded, or removed, from your auto policy, is not covered by your insurance. Listing someone as an excluded driver could save you money. But this is one of those cost saving options that may not be worth it.
Why You Should Never Let an Excluded Driver Drive Your Car
Excluded drivers should never drive the car they are excluded from. It is literally driving without insurance. In a crash, damage to your vehicle won’t be covered, and both you and the excluded driver can be held personally liable for any damages caused to others. The scenario is not any better if an excluded driver is involved in a not-at-fault accident.
Here is a case on point. I had a car accident victim in my office the other day, injured by another driver while her excluded boyfriend was driving. She became ill and asked her boyfriend, a passenger in the car, to take the wheel. She warned him to drive extremely carefully because he was excluded from her auto policy. He was careful, but the driver of another car was not. He crashed into their car, injuring them both.
Because the boyfriend, an excluded driver, was operating the car, the girlfriend’s vehicle is considered an uninsured vehicle. This limits the amount of money she can receive for her injuries. If the at-fault driver has liability insurance, the girlfriend will only recover her out-of-pocket expenses. She will be able to fix her car and get reimbursed for reasonable and necessary medical costs.
But according to California Civil Code 3333.4 the girlfriend will not get any money for the pain and suffering resulting from her accident related injuries. NOTHING, no matter how injured she is or how long and difficult her recovery has been. This result is harsh, but it is the law in California.
The lesson to be learned here is to never allow an excluded driver to operate your vehicle. The risks are simply too great.
How a Long Beach Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
Your Injuries Are Personal to Me
I help car accident victims hold unsafe drivers accountable for the damages they cause. Your injuries are personal to me, so I will handle every aspect of your case until your claim is resolved.
Call the Law Office of Michael D. Waks at 888-394-1174 or use the convenient online contact form to schedule a free consultation with a Long Beach car accident lawyer. Learn how I can help you if you’ve suffered a car accident injury. You will be under no obligation and you will never pay any money unless you recover compensation for your losses.
You can also download my convenient glove box checklist to keep in your car so you will know what to do if a crash occurs.
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