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Are Unlicensed Knuckleheads Covered?

by Amy

We have been covered for many years and are in good standing with our insurance company - Safeco, comprehensive. Our son, who is 16 years old, had a learners permit but it expired a few months ago and he never renewed it.

He has taken drivers ed. Last weekend my husband and I were out for the evening and he took our car without permission, and bottomed out on a hill.

He then drove the car the few blocks to our house. The oil pan is broken, $1000 right there, and it's beginning to appear as though the engine has been damaged by the drive home with oil gushing out the bottom through the broken oil pan - the engine won't hold oil pressure.

We haven't contacted our insurance company yet but reports from the mechanic become increasingly dire.

Is there any possibility the damage to our car will be covered?

And assuming he gets his license some day, will they ever be willing to add him onto our insurance as a driver?

We live in Washington State.


Answer to: Are Unlicensed Knuckleheads Covered?

Hello Amy,


You have a few coverage issues here.

First, the issue with the driver license is not an issue. A person driving is covered even without a license.

You have a different problem.

1. Comprehensive coverage does not covered a bottom out hit. That is a collision. Unless you carry collision coverage, you likely have no coverage.

2. The fact that he took your vehicle without your permission. There is a permissive user exclusion that will come into play here. He may not be covered if it is determined that he took the car without authorization.

I hope this helps,
Good Luck,
Auto Insurance Claim Advice

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