There are times when an insurance company or policyholder may opt to exclude a driver from an auto insurance policy. Insurance companies often do this to prevent high-risk drivers from operating insured vehicles. Policyholders, on the other hand, may be trying to save money on their auto insurance.
But what happens if an excluded driver causes a collision?
It is important to remember that injured accident victims have several rights. This includes the right to pursue compensation for the losses incurred due to another’s negligence.
A licensed car accident attorney in Silver Spring is prepared to advocate for your best interests and seek the maximum compensation possible. Our firm has successfully recovered $130 million in settlements and verdicts on our clients’ behalf. The initial consultation is free of charge with no obligation involved.
Who Can Be Considered an Excluded Driver?
An excluded driver refers to someone a policyholder asks his or her insurance company not to cover. Excluded drivers are typically considered high-risk drivers. These types of drivers often cost too much money to insure. They can cause auto insurance rates to go up. By excluding them, policyholders could lower their insurance premiums and minimize the risk of their policy being canceled altogether.
Examples of drivers often excluded from insurance include:
- Individuals with poor driving records
- Drivers with too many traffic tickets
- Irresponsible or inexperienced drivers
- Drivers with past accidents and claims
- Drivers with no license or a suspended license
- Individuals with a DUI or drug-related conviction
Some parents or legal guardians may also opt to exclude teen drivers if they do not intend to allow driving privileges or are restricting driving privileges until the teen has gained sufficient experience. Once an excluded driver is removed from an auto insurance policy, that driver cannot operate the insured’s vehicle and will not be covered by the policyholder’s insurance company.
Excluding Drivers From an Auto Insurance Policy
The rules and procedures for excluding drivers may vary among auto insurers. Generally, policyholders can exclude drivers from their auto insurance policy by signing a driver exclusion endorsement. (However, the policy may still cover them if they are a passenger in one of the insured’s vehicles.)
According to the Maryland Insurance Administration, an excluded driver cannot legally operate the insured’s vehicle unless he or she obtains a separate auto insurance policy. If the excluded driver operates the insured’s vehicle and is involved in a collision, the policy will not cover damages caused by the excluded driver. This includes damages to the insured vehicle or another person and their property. This means that the vehicle owner and the excluded driver can be held personally liable for any damages or injuries caused to others. The insurance company may also cancel or refuse to renew the policy.
Compensation for Injured Accident Victims
An excluded driver who causes a collision will likely be regarded as an uninsured driver. This can be troublesome for injured accident victims trying to pursue compensation for their losses. You may be able to use your uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to help cover damages. You would make a claim against your own insurance company. UM coverage is required under Maryland law ($30,000 for bodily injury per person, $60,000 bodily injury per accident and $15,000 for property damage).
Based on the severity of your injuries, another potential option may be to take legal action against the excluded driver and/or the vehicle owner. However, recovering damages from a liable party’s personal assets can be difficult. This is why it may be advantageous to have a qualified attorney by your side. He or she can review your situation in greater detail, give you advice on whether you should file an insurance claim or lawsuit, and take the course of action that you choose to pursue.
Talk to One of Our Qualified Attorneys Today
If you have been injured in a collision due to another’s negligence, insurance coverage plays a major role. Our attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan are well-versed in the state’s auto insurance requirements and other coverage rules that may apply to your situation. We are prepared to fully investigate your claim.
Reach out to learn more about how we may be able to help you. Initial consultations are completely free, and there is no obligation to move forward. Our intake staff is available to take your call 24/7. If we represent you, there is nothing to pay us up front or while we work on your case.