When it comes to your auto insurance, you may think that paying your premiums on time is all it takes to stay in the company’s good graces. But an insurance policy is a contract, and that means you also have to abide by that company’s rules. In Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group’s new blog series, we are taking a look at some common situations (and ultimately, bad decisions) that can potentially ruin your auto insurance coverage.
#1: You allow an “Excluded Driver” to drive your car
With the holidays in full swing, and everyone even busier than usual, you may be tempted to allow an individual named “excluded driver” on your policy to borrow your vehicle. But don’t do it!
For the purposes of insurance policies, a “named-driver exclusion” means you have identified a person who should not be driving your vehicle and would not be covered under your policy, under any circumstances. These can be high-risk drivers, your teenage children, your irresponsible family member or neighbor, etc. Insurance agents often promote these exclusions as a way of decreasing your premiums, but the provision is not a good idea in the first place! Many excluded drivers may be living in the house with you and have easy access to your keys and car, or, they might not even know they are excluded from your policy.
It is important to note here that “permissive drivers” are still okay. These are individuals who you have given permission to drive your car. They would be covered under your auto insurance, and likely under their own insurance as well.
However, if an “excluded driver” gets behind the wheel of your vehicle for any reason – even in an emergency – and causes an accident, the both of you will be held responsible for any and all personal injuries or property damage. So, before you let that excluded driver borrow your vehicle, think about the risks you are taking concerning your insurance coverage. A short errand or a favor can turn into months’ or even years’ worth of insurance headaches for you, not to mention the financial issues.
Stay tuned for our next installment of “10 Horrible Insurance Decisions That Can Make Auto Accidents Even Worse.” Interested in reading one of our other personal injury blogs? Visit http://atlinjurylawgroup.com/resources/injury-blog/. If you, or someone you know, has been injured in an accident and need help with their personal injury case, call Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group at (404) 436-1529.