Auto Insurance

Legal Q&ACategory: Personal InjuryAuto Insurance
Reader asked 4 years ago

I recently had a car accident and as I only had my learners permit my parent’s car insurance does not want to cover our car. The vehicle that I was driving had full coverage, is there any way that I can get the insurance to at least cover the other car involved in the accident?

1 Answers
Dave Alden answered 4 years ago

Hi Cintia, Welcome to Legal.com and thank you for your question. Although the situation you describe arises from a car¬†accident, yours is really an insurance question. When a potential claim arises, the first thing attorneys do is review the situation to determine the likelihood that the insurance underwriter, under the terms of the policy and applicable laws, will agree to cover the claim. Once a determination is made that the claim will be covered, the benefits of the policy become available. Importantly, these benefits include legal representation. In other words, the insurance company will retain counsel on the insured’s behalf, to defend the claim and (if appropriate) go about negotiating a settlement. When an insurance company denies coverage in a case where they should agree to cover the claim, their policy holder obtains a cause of action (right to sue) against the insurance company. In the case you describe, it sounds like coverage is being denied because of your learner’s permit. Without being able to review the policy (which is a contract between your parents and the insurance company) it is impossible to know if there should be coverage. If the policy specifically excludes drivers with learner’s permits, or below a certain age, or anyone other than named insureds, then arguably the insurance company is within its rights to deny coverage unless applicable ( most likely state) law says otherwise. So your first step would be to have the policy reviewed by an attorney familiar with insurance laws in your jurisdiction (state law in the United States; other laws in other countries). It would be really good advice for people to have contracts like insurance policies reviewed by an attorney, and for insureds to know the limitations of their policies before assuming they have coverage.

The most common way to have an attorney “on retainer” these days is by membership through a legal services plan. These plans offer a number of benefits, including review of contracts you are thinking of signing. Plans are available as benefits at work and direct purchase at very affordable prices. LegalShield is well established. Join by calling Legal.com, Independent Associate, toll-free 800-253-7271.

Sometimes a demand letter from an attorney disagreeing with the insurance company’s initial determination can help. This is where your legal plan membership comes in, or to find an attorney nearby, use Legal.com’s Find a Lawyer search tool. Look for attorneys practicing insurance law, and/or auto accident law, in your city.

All the best, ¬†— Dave

Alden Law Group – Sacramento, CA