Auto Insurance Contract Dispute Barrett Sherwood asked 1 year ago
Auto Insurance Contract Dispute

Last year, I called my insurance company to purchase insurance for my oldest daughter and her car. She lives in a different state. At the end of the conversation, without any initiation on my part, the agent brought up my middle daughter and a family friend and asked, “So you don’t want to include them?” I was very surprised to hear that the company listed these two people as residing with me since neither did. I didn’t fully grasp what was going on at that point and said, no, I did not want coverage for them, assuming she was referring to my older daughter’s policy that I had just purchased. It turned out that I ended up excluding my middle daughter from ALL our policies. I did not know what exclusion meant or implied. It’s obvious that I didn’t because I gave her permission to drive our family car over Christmas and she had an accident that totaled our car ($55K). The insurance company, to my surprise, told me I had excluded her and that there would be no coverage. My complaint is this: When an insurance company excludes a driver, they MUST consider a policy holder’s intent when excluding a driver. There was NO discussion of any reason whatsoever to exclude her. Also, it’s crucial that the law be written such that a decision with the financial and emotional implications of removing your child from a policy should NOT be left to a verbal agreement over the phone. It should be in writing or at least require an electronic signature via Docusign or equivalent. I work in real estate and investing and all my contracts require electronic or wet signatures. All of them. I NEVER intended to exclude my daughter from the policy and had I done so, I NEVER would have given her permission to drive our car (and permitted my youngest daughter to accompany her! – yes we have 3 girls:)). Lastly, I have a family friend whose son was ALSO excluded from their policy (he had just turned 16 but had been excluded, at the same company’s suggestion, NOT the parents, and he totaled their car and they had to pay for the other party’s damages out of pocket, to say nothing of their own vehicle. And the insurance company had called a couple years prior to INITIATE the exclusion. So this got me thinking that, like so many other insurance schemes that are currently unfolding, this is a secret policy of certain carriers: eliminate children (i.e., high risk) drivers from policies if the opportunity arises. I would like assistance filing a complaint and holding insurance companies responsible for initiating exclusions of children on family policies. I am certain that, when investigated, this will be revealed as a money saving policy for the companies at the families they cover’s expense.

1 Answers
Al Stoll Al Stoll Expert answered 1 year ago

Barrett, so sorry to hear about this. My thought is start to working directly with a high quality personal lines insurance agent. Get to know your agent, go over all of your needs, make sure the agent understands the situation with your kids and where they are living. Make sure your agent understands your work, and how you use your vehicle for work. Challenge your agent, “Are we missing anything here?”; “Are there any gaps in our coverages?” Also, ask your agent how to read your “declarations pages,” so you can check your coverages yourself and understand what coverages you have and who is insured. Most insurance companies have your declarations pages accessible online now.