Excluded Driver

Picture this: you’ve just gotten into a car accident. Thankfully, your car isn’t demolished and you haven’t gotten injured. But then you find out one tiny, unfortunate detail: the other driver doesn’t have car insurance.

Car crashes can be expensive, not just to cover your damages and injuries, but to pay for more expensive insurance premiums. And if someone is at fault, they are on the hook to cover the other party’s injuries and damages. That becomes a tall order if they have no insurance.

What happens if an excluded driver gets in an accident? We are here to answer that question. Keep reading to see what options they have and what consequences they may face.

What’s an Excluded Driver?

In most cases, your insurance policy covers some or all of the members of the household. Short and simple, an excluded driver is anyone that you do not include on an insurance policy.

An excluded driver could include the following:

  • Someone you decided not to include to save money
  • A child above the age threshold
  • Anyone else who doesn’t live in the household

In most cases, an excluded driver is someone whose name is on the policy (with no coverage) that borrows your vehicle. For example, you lend your adult son your car for a day and he gets in a crash. He has no coverage under the insurance policy, meaning the insurance company may not cover any related costs.

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What Are the Reasons to Have an Excluded Driver on Your Policy?

There are many good reasons why you might want to remove someone from your policy. Here are some of the following:

  • Someone in your family does not/cannot drive, so you don’t need to pay for their insurance
  • Someone in your family has a history of accidents and violations, which raises insurance premiums
  • Someone moves out, such as one of your children getting their own place

Generally speaking, if a member of your household is going to be driving the car at any point, they need inclusion in the policy. Even if this is a college student who is home once a semester, it’s a good idea to have them insured.

Most insurance policies allow “permissive use.” This means you can lend your car to someone who is not in the household. The insurance company may cover some or all of the costs if they do get in a crash.

Take note, there is a difference between excluding and removing a driver. If you remove a driver, they disappear from the record. Aside from permissive use, there would be no coverage on your plan.

What Happens If an Excluded Driver Gets in an Accident?

Even though an excluded driver is listed on someone’s policy, they are an uninsured driver for all intents and purposes. So if you get in a crash with an excluded driver then treat it like a crash with an uninsured driver.

Most insurance companies will give you coverage against uninsured drivers. If you have this coverage on your policy, you simply make a claim with your own insurance company for the damages. Obviously, this will not be as effective as making a claim to the responsible driver’s insurance company.

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That said, you may have a bare-bones insurance policy that doesn’t cover uninsured crashes. That, or the coverage may be very low. In that case, you will be on the hook for damages.

Pursuing Legal Action Against the Responsible Party

Depending on the situation–even if you manage to get coverage–you may pursue additional legal action. It is illegal for drivers to drive without insurance. They will likely suffer legal penalties even without you pressing charges.

But if your insurance company does not cover you, this is your next best avenue. It’s also a great option if your insurance company does not cover much. Or, if you feel that the driver owes you more for the damage they caused you.

In most cases, this will be open and shut. Assuming you have evidence, an uninsured driver will have to pay you big time. But unless you hire a car accident lawyer, you won’t have as much success.

What to Do after a Car Accident

To maximize your chances of success, there are some things you should do shortly after a car accident. What you do in the minutes and hours following an accident will decide the outcome of the case.

  • Take pictures of everything, from the cars to the license plates to the drivers
  • Gather insurance information from the involved parties
  • Get treatment for your injuries at the hospital ASAP
  • Submit a claim to your insurance company
  • Do not accept any premature offers
  • Call your lawyer

Essentially, you want to leave a paper trail. You want clear-cut evidence that points to the fault of the other driver. Having pictures, insurance information, and medical records from the hospital will all help your case.

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Speak at length with your lawyer about what you should do. Ideally, you should call them first thing after a car accident happens. They will have invaluable tips about what you should do next.

At the end of the day, you have at least two avenues for compensation. With an excluded driver, chances are very high of getting that compensation.

Talk to Your Car Accident Lawyer Today

What happens if an excluded driver gets in an accident? There’s a good chance that your insurance provider will cover accidents with uninsured drivers. If they don’t, or if the coverage is inadequate, then you can pursue legal charges against the other driver.

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