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Who or will they pay?

by Charlotte
(Newport News,VA,USA)

Day after Labor day as I was heading to work through an intersection in the right lane another motorist failed to stop or slow down when she turned right in to my lane from an intersecting street.

Had I not noticed she wasn't going to stop and swerved the damage would have been greater. We moved out of way and the Police arrived. Her first words to the officer when the officer asked what happened was that she didn't see the light.

After the Officer took both our information, I then found out that not only was she not the owner of the vehicle but she also did not have a current operators license.

I am fairly new to the state of Virginia and just found out the hard way that the Officer responding to the call determines whether or not the damage is greater or less than $1000.00. If it is less, no accident report is made, if more, then it is. The weather conditions was rainy and it was dark, needless to say, the officer did not see the proper damage and a report was not made.

Anyway, in having spoken to the adjuster and even after their appraiser has come and done the estimate, the adjuster is saying that they may not cover the damages to my vehicle since the owner of the car was not the driver.

He said that they need to first see if the person had permission to drive the car. Does this truly mean all the vehicle's owner has to say is that he didn't give the person permission and my damages will not be covered?


Hello Charlotte,

It depends on state law. All auto policy require that the driver be a permissive user if the driver is not the owner (registered) or driver is not listed as a driver. In addition, if the driver is a permissive driver, that driver cannot have the vehicle made available for regular use. If you use the vehicle for regular use, there might be an exclusion. Regular use is defined under the terms of the policy, if not they go by what state law says.

Permission is another unsettled area. If you do not have permission, did they report the vehicle stolen? Some states allow for imply consent or imply permission. For example, if you did not have permission to drive the car this one day, but you did in the past and have access to the keys, there might be imply permission. Some states require express permission.

For more information auto policies and exclusions, please see:

Good Luck,

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