Excluded Driver Liability

By Michael Goldberg

I was recently asked about the validity of “driver exclusion” in a liability insurance policy. Many times substandard auto insurers will issue a policy to an individual but will specifically exclude certain people from driving the vehicle, such as a wife or child. Unfortunately, these exclusions are valid.

If the person who caused the wreck and injures someone is a specifically excluded driver, there will be no liability insurance available to the injured party, or “claimant.” The claimant must look to his own uninsured motorist coverage to provide coverage for the loss.

If the claimant’s insurance carrier (the uninsured motorist carrier) does not agree that the excluded driver has no coverage, then the claimant has to file suit against the excluded driver and serve the uninsured motorist carrier. Once the liability insurer refuses to provide a defense to the excluded driver, the uninsured motorist carrier will have no choice but to step in and defend the excluded driver and to admit that the driver is uninsured or risk a default judgment. With the help of an attorney, filing that claim can allow the claimant to ultimately receive coverage and compensation from his or her own uninsured motorist policy.

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