Car Insurance and Excluded Drivers
As we discussed in an earlier post, all vehicles must be properly insured, and failure to carry proper insurance can be extremely detrimental in the event of an accident. Uninsured car accident victims may be unable to advance tort claims against another negligent driver, even if they are severely injured. It is important to understand how car insurance works, and when a driver might be excluded from driving a certain vehicle under an insurance policy.
Who is ordinarily covered by an automobile insurance policy?
In Ontario, insurance attaches to a vehicle, rather than an individual. When you purchase any automobile insurance policy, your insurer will confirm the names and driving histories of anyone living in your household who may be an occasional driver of the vehicle. If any of them have a history of accidents or driving charges, this could increase your rates.
Occasional drivers, including friends, neighbours and family members, will all be insured when driving your vehicle with your permission.
If a member of your household has a poor driving history, an insurer may want to charge higher rates, just in case they drive the car once in a a while. Ontario law permits you to ask your insurance company to exclude them from your policy, so their driving history will no longer influence your rates. Both you and the excluded driver will be required to sign a form confirming that they are not permitted to drive the vehicle(s) under the policy.
If excluded drivers drive the vehicle(s) and are involved in an accident, there is no coverage available to them under the policy and they will be precluded from advancing any personal injury claim, since they were driving without insurance.
If the vehicle owner allowed an excluded driver to operate the vehicle, the owner may also be denied third party liability coverage if they are sued after an accident. However, there are also cases where an excluded driver took the vehicle without the owner’s knowledge, and the owner must show that they did not permit or allow this to occur.
Dedicated motor vehicle accident lawyers advising accident victims where insurance is an issue
When insurance coverage is a concern after a car accident, it is crucial to speak to a lawyer that understands complex motor vehicle accident cases. Derfel Injury Law only represents accident victims, and has extensive experience working on claims involving insurance coverage issues. If you have been injured in a car accident involving an excluded driver, or have questions about your own access to coverage, it is essential that you speak with an experienced motor vehicle accident lawyer who understands how to handle this complicating factor.