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Is it okay to leave a Recorded Statement on Voicemail?
My 28 year old son, who lives with us, borrowed our car. We live in the state of Hawaii. He was in an accident and it looks like the vehicle is a total loss. Everyone is very upset and he has been avoiding us.
We have explained this to the adjuster. However the adjuster says she cannot proceed with the claim without a recorded statement from him. The adjuster said my son can leave a brief statement on her voice mail this weekend if he calls and she is not there.
He does not generally use our car, but has driven it on occasion.
My son is not insured on our policy, but since he is resident in our home (I believe this is unique to Hawaii) they have to cover him, or at least the car. He hit a rock wall in front of someone's house, there were no other car's involved and no one else was in the car. He was cited for driving under the influence, but the insurance co does not have the police report yet and Hawaii Police are very slow so they probably don't know this yet.
My son does not drink alcohol, but is under the care of a doctor and does take prescription medication so I am not sure how this will play out for him
I just want to know if it is safe for him to leave a brief statement on her voice mail. Something like,My name is such and such "I was driving the car, a dog ran out in to the road , I tried to avoid it and lost control of the car. thank you." ( which is what he tells us happened)
I need to proceed with the claim, but do not want to cause problems for my son's future court issues either.
Thanks in advance for your help.
Well, we always advised not to give recorded statements to anyone. You are not required to that that (by the policy or any state law). You are required to "cooperate", but there is no language about recorded statements. They could ask for a sworn affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury.
Please see our section on recorded statements here.
You should talk to a lawyer locally before making this decision. Many policies exclude coverage if there is alcohol or drugs involved (some states do not allow such exclusion, we are not sure what Hawaii does).
Also, the following statement is incorrect
"My son is not insured on our policy, but since he is resident in our home (I believe this is unique to Hawaii) they have to cover him, or at least the car."
No, they don't. There is a very common exclusion on most auto policies called the regular use exclusion. If you have a family member who has the vehicle available for use (some policies say available for regular or occasional use), then the claim is excluded. This is how insurance companies ensure that any driver in a family is listed as a driver, otherwise, anyone in a house (including teenagers) could driver under their parents without having to list that driver (and keeping insurance premiums low).
This can be tricky in your situation, and depending on what you said already, the insurance company may simply be advancing a coverage investigation.
Talk to a lawyer in Hawaii to discuss coverage and what your options are.
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