Discussion in 'Auto Insurance Forum' started by wiagent, Jan 11, 2017.
I think you should have other party's specific UIM situation before you make any decisions.
It sounds like the potential issue is if you don't exercise the parents' BI is the daughter will be personally on the hook for the damages beyond her limits.
If it's something the parents are entirely okay with and want to keep their daughter safe from that, go for it. If they're apprehensive or feel their daughter needs to take full responsibility, you may have to honor their wishes
Nice link, but you would be incorrect on the last part.
My having insurance in no way relieves you of your liability to make me whole, whether you have insurance or not. Now as the hypothetical insured, I or my attorney would need to establish why you, the hypothetical parent, were liable in some way for the accident. The fact I had or did not have UM/UIM in no way relieves you of that liability. UM/UIM exists to compensate me, the hypothetical victim, when your insurance is not sufficient to cover your liability. I still could pursue your assets to recover any judgement or settlement, now the insurance company may want those assets to recover what they paid out under UM/UIM, however that is a different story.
Yes, you were notified of the claim or possible claim. You now have a duty to report it to the carrier. If they won't accept it, then document in your management system that you did so. This could easily be an E&O nightmare if you don't.
Why is the parent's insurance mandatorily liable for actions of an adult daughter in her own car under her own policy? The initial post made it sound like this was a voluntary action that could be legal, but not a legally required action.
I would wait and see personally.
They aren't necessarily, but they may be. Also, he didn't get a call from the parents asking his advice if they should file a claim. He got a call from a third party trying to file a claim (at least how I understand it and thus the basis of how I am responding). If that is the case, then he has an obligation to forward the claim to the company. Unless an agent has claims handling authority, it isn't the agent's right or responsibility to determine whether a claim is valid or not.
Finally, it sounds like the OP called the company and they don't want to file the claim, which is completely within their rights. So were I the OP, I'd just note I did so and the next time the adjuster calls tell him I spoke with the company and leave it as that. I definitely would try to get out of the middle of this while doing everything I could to protect my insured.
Let me add why I say let the company know. Most companies require notification as soon as you know of an actual or potential claim (something concrete that may lead to a claim).
It is for a very simple reason, put yourself in the carrier's shoes. You have a relationship with a contractor who interfaces with the public on your behalf. You have given them some authority to act on your behalf, but not complete authority. Wouldn't you want to know as soon as possible that you may be sued, you may have to pay out money? Even if it was completely bogus, wouldn't you still want to know that you may get dragged into a mess?
I would simply call the the claims department at the company in question, let them know what is going on and ask how they want to proceed. Yes, it is passing the buck, but it isn't yours to handle.
Thanks for taking the time to respond to my question and educate me some more. That certainly explains your e&o comment earlier.
As always, you have to read the policy language to determine coverage. IF the parents have an ISO Personal Auto Policy or a non-ISO policy with the same provision, they likely have NO coverage under their own policy if sued for their daughter's use of her own separately insured auto. The reason, if you have an ISO PAP available, is liability exclusion B.3. Here is an article on this:
Virtual University - Kids' Kars Revisited
This is a HUGE little known coverage gap for parents who have resident relatives in the household who have their own autos and auto policies. Since the parents' auto insurer is not getting any premium for the use of the daughter's auto, they exclude any coverage under the parents' policy for the use of that auto. The only source of defense and indemnity for the parents in this situation is under their daughter's PAP which, in this case, possibly has an inadequate limit. The main value of the daughter's policy to the parents is the unlimited defense coverage if they are insureds due to their vicarious liability.
For this reason, anytime you have family members living in the same household with multiple auto policies, it's a good idea if they are all the same with the same high limits. Interestingly, if the daughter did not live in the household, the parents' policy would cover them. Try to explain that to a customer!
Most welcome. Also, I believe you are confusing having a claim filed versus actually being liable.
I can file a claim anytime, anywhere. Doesn't mean a thing other than that I told the company I felt their insured was liable for some reason. Liability needs to be determined. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is hard. Also as InsCommentary is alluding to, just because I file a claim and the insured is liable does not mean that coverage actually exists.
echoing VOLAGENTS comments. Its not your duty to determine if the parents policy has or will provide coverage. That's the companies claim departments job. You do have a duty to notify the company of a potential claim, the earlier they are aware the better.
I would make the parents aware that you are filing a claim in there best interest to protect them.
UM/UIM as with any claim is subject to subrogation if possible.
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