Jose in Tillamook, Oregon 97141 has four vehicles on his policy and claims to be the only driver. Despite my interrogation, he refuses to reveal any more drivers. One day, his son was driving one of the cars to pick up his girlfriend from the airport in Portland, Oregon, and got in a crash. It totaled the newer SUV. So far, the insurance company has refused to pay the $135,000. The other party has a judgment against the driver and the client. Plus, the insurance company is charging the client for a permissive use accident. The customer argues that he shouldn’t have to pay extra for the accident because he wasn’t driving.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to disclose all drivers who have access to the cars you insure. They need to be listed on the policy to be covered. I’m sure you’ve heard of cases where the company will still pay the claim even if the driver isn’t listed. Auto insurers are taking a more rigid stance on the matter. They’ve implemented a system of gathering reports of potential drivers by looking for residents of the same household.
Don’t be surprised when we quote you that other names pop up. We’ll gently request that you explain who they are to you, if they live in the same house, and if they have access to your car(s). It’s getting harder to hide potential drivers with this technology. If you genuinely don’t let them drive, say so. We’ll mark them as non-drivers on the policy. Be careful not to let them use your car if you have indicated they won’t.
Another trend is for an insurer to automatically add drivers they discover after giving you a chance to respond to their inquiry. If you don’t reply to their request for additional information about a household member, they will include them without further warning after the date indicated in the letter.