My teenaged child took my car without permission and was involved in an accident. Will this be covered by my policy?
UPDATED: Jan 20, 2016
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Asked January 20, 2016
If your teen is not a licensed driver, or is not listed as a driver on your policy, the insurance company may have issues with honoring a claim filed against the car after he drives it without permission. This is a difficult question, and the best answer may not be any easier, but there is really only one way to use your car insurance to handle claims of this nature.
If your teen is a licensed driver and is listed on the insurance policy, you should not have anything to worry about. Unless you make it known that the child did not have your permission to use the car there will not be any questions asked about it. Simply file the claim as you normally would. The fact of taking the car without permission is something you will have to deal with privately, but at least your insurance company will handle the claim.
If your teen is not listed on the policy, you have a problem. If he is not a licensed driver, the problem gets more serious. Your insurance may deny the claim because they were not aware of a teen driver and had not priced your policy correctly. In this circumstance, there is not much you can do except pay for the costs out of pocket. Auto insurance policies will not cover a vehicle that is used by an unlicensed driver unless the vehicle is listed as being stolen by them.
The most direct solution is to report the car as stolen. Your insurance will cover damages caused by the vehicle while it is in the possession of the person who stole it. The disadvantage of this option, and why it is actually the most difficult choice, is that your teen will be subject to the full penalty of the law. In some cases, the charge may be dropped to simple joyriding, which carries a lesser penalty without affecting your insurance. The problem you may face is that you will not have any say in how the charges are brought, and there is a definite possibility that your teen could end up facing a jail sentence.
Answered February 1, 2016 by Anonymous