How can insurance deny a claim for no right to be driving? 30 Answers as of August 27, 2012

I was hit by a driver who was under the influence, insurance company denied my claim stating he had no right to drive the car, it's his brother's car. What can I do?

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David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
See if your uninsured coverage will cover the loss. Our Insurer would then have a right to sue the at fault driver to recoup its money. If your uninsured coverage does not cover the loss, you can bring suit against the at fault driver and hold him personally liable. If he had his brother's permission to drive the car, then the brother's insurance should cover the loss. If the at fault driver says he had permission, and the brother didn't report it stolen, then you might successfully get the insurer to cover it.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 8/27/2012
Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
Sue him and his brother. The owner is responsible if he allowed his brother to drive, or if he was negligent in leaving the keys where the brother could get them.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 8/22/2012
The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C.
The Law Offices of Paul A. Samakow, P.C. | Paul A. Samakow
Insurance covers the acts of people they insure. If the driver did not have permission, it is as if he stole the car. If someone stole your car, would you want your insurance paying for an accident that person caused?
Answer Applies to: Virginia
Replied: 8/22/2012
John Russo | John Russo
Sounds like his brother is claiming he took car without his permission. Contact police to see if he filed a stolen car report, sounds like they are trying to scam you talk to a lawyer if what you say is true you do have options.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/22/2012
Lapin Law Offices
Lapin Law Offices | Jeffrey Lapin
An insurance company can deny a clam if the driver of the vehicle, which was the brother of the owner, did not have permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the crash. For example, if the non-owner brother took the car without asking, got drunk and then caused the accident without you, the owner's insurance would not have to provide coverage. Whether the brother had permission is a question of fact. Permission need not be explicit, that is, the brother saying you can drive my car tonight. Permission can be implied.

If the owner did not give permission, you could collect from the drunk driver's car insurance company, assuming he had insurance. If he did not have insurance, you could still sue him and then try to collect any judgment you obtain against him and his assets. A better option if neither brother has insurance would be to make a claim against your own car insurance company for Uninsured Motorist benefits.

Under the Uninsured Motorist claim you can receive money for your injuries and damages. Uninsured coverage does not cover damage to your vehicle though. Damage to your vehicle would be covered under your Collision coverage and you would have to pay your deductible. You may want to consider talking to an attorney to discuss your case and learn more about your rights and possible options.
Answer Applies to: Nebraska
Replied: 8/22/2012
    Dennis P. Mikko Attorney at Law | Dennis P. Mikko
    Michigan is a no-fault state so damages to your car would be paid by your insurance company, If you were injured and the injuries rise to a threshold level, you could file a claim against the other driver.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Make a claim against your own insurance company. See a personal injury lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    Get a lawyer and file a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    If the driver had no permission to operate a vehicle, he may very well not be insured for the loss. If you have insurance on any vehicle you own, there may be recourse to get bills paid, wages reimbursed, general damages etc. under your own policy. Consult my office free of charge and I will walk you through the process.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Slotnick & Schwartz
    Slotnick & Schwartz | Leonard T. Schwartz
    Sue them both. At the very least the driver is responsible.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Downriver Injury and Auto Law | Michael Heilmann
    You must sue and determine that the brother permitted the brother to borrow the car. The owner of a car is responsible for its use.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Jeffre Crandall, Attorney at Law | Jeffre Crandall
    The driver, though drunk, may be a secondary authorized driver. Get a lawyer and have him interview the owner of the car.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Ezim Law Firm | Dean Esposito
    If he took the car without authority and did not have permission, they may not provide coverage an will deny the claim.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Cale Plamann | Cale Plamann
    It is possible that he did have the right to drive the car under the insurance contract with the brother. Depending upon the circumstances of your case, if you sue the person who hit you he may be able to force the insurance company to defend and pay for him.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Gary L. Platt, Attorney at Law | Gary Platt
    Assuming the other driver's insurance company denied your claim, you can still sue the other driver AND the car's owner. If the other insurance company refuses to pay the damages or defend the other driver or owner, you may still be able to recover damages against them. In addition, if you obtain proof that the other driver and owner are uninsured (which they are, technically, if their insurance company denies coverage), then you can make a claim under your own insurance policy's uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Mike Yeksavich | Mike Yeksavich
    Insurance policies cover only what they say they cover. If the driver was not an "insured" within the meaning of the policy then there is no coverage. Sue the driver and discuss all the facts with a lawyer to see if the insured brother can be held liable.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Sue driver and brother. Insurance carrier is saying that it is not liable as brother driving was an excluded operator.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Sue him.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C.
    DEAN T. JENNINGS, P.C. | Dean T Jennings
    Sue the driver and the brother who let him drive and then the brother's insurance company will have to defend the brother and pay and judgment (up to the limits of coverage) that you can get against the brother. Also, with a joint and several judgment against the drunk and his brother, the drunk will be barred from driving so that when he does drive the police will arrest him and take him to jail.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Craig Kelley & Faultless
    Craig Kelley & Faultless | David W. Craig
    Just because the insurance company denied the claim does not mean they are right. Whether there is coverage or not is dependent on the specific facts of your case and the terms of the insurance policy. I would recommend that you contact someone who is familiar with insurance coverage law.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
    Sue the driver and his brother.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    John Ratkowitz
    John Ratkowitz | John Ratkowitz
    You should get an attorney who will investigate the insurance company's denial. The standard for denial of coverage in those circumstances is "theft or the like." That is, the carrier can only deny coverage if they can demonstrate that the driver essentially stole the care without the knowledge of the owner. Finally, if the driver did steal the car, you might have a viable uninsured motorist claim.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray
    Rags Beals Seigler Patterson & Gray | Ronald D. Reemsnyder
    You have a claim against the driver whether or not they were insured. Also insurance usually goes with the car to prevent drivers from being uninsured so the insurer may be wrong. if the driver was in act uninsured, then you may have coverage if you bought uninsured motorist insurance.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    Sounds like they are claiming the car was taken without the owners permission or stolen.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Lehner & Rodrigues | Michael A Lehner
    I assume your referring to the insurance company for the drunk driver that denied coverage because he didn't have permission to use the car. If you have a motor vehicle insurance policy on your car, and it is an Oregon policy, it will provide you with uninsured motorist insurance. That insurance coverage will compensate you for any damages you would be entitled to receive from the uninsured driver.

    You must give notice to your insurance company asap. You should also hire an attorney to help you through the process. Most attorneys who do this work will take your case on a contingent fee basis, which means their fee will be a percentage of whatever they recover for you.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Magnuson Lowell P.S.
    Magnuson Lowell P.S. | Richard S. Lowell
    An insurance company does not have to provide coverage for a driver who was behind the wheel of its insured's car - but had no reasonable belief of a right to drive the car. It sounds like that's what the insurance company is claiming. Sometimes they are right - but sometimes they aren't.

    If they are wrong, they'll have to provide the coverage - or be subject to a bad faith lawsuit. If they are correct - and yet you have your own full coverage insurance - you can make an uninsured motorist claim against your own insurance company. Bottom line: if you were hurt - go seek out a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney to investigate the matter and assist you.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC
    Law Office of Pho Ethan Tran PLLC | Pho Ethan Tran
    Do you have an attorney assisting you on this matter?
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    WARM SPRINGS LAW GROUP | Elliott D. Yug
    Talk with an attorney. I would consider negligent entrustment of an automobile to go after the owner of the vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/22/2012
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C.
    Law Office of Stuart M. Nachbar, P.C. | Stuart M. Nachbar
    Sue them, or report same to your carrier, let your carrier repair the damages, and have them subrogate against the other carrier.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 8/21/2012
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