You are here:

Auto Insurance Claims/insurance coverage


I was in an accident 2 years ago where I was driving someone else's car.  The passenger(owner of the vehicle) grabbed the wheel causing us to collide with another vehicle.  Come to find out, the passenger's insurance had lapsed the month before so he had no coverage for this accident. I was advised by his insurance to call my insurance and tell them it was my fault (since I was the one driving I figured that it was my fault anyway) and now I'm not sure that that was the right thing to do.  The other driver is now claiming injuries, loss of wages, and filing a lawsuit.  Was I supposed to use my insurance to cover this accident?  Should I tell my insurance that the passenger really caused the accident or does it even matter since I was driving?

Hello Adrianna,

2 years ago and just now filing a lawsuit?  What does your insurance company have to say about this?  Have they known about the claim for some time and they are now just telling you about it?

If it has taken 2 years to get to this point, clearly your carrier needs to conduct a thorough investigation.  There could be some coverage issues.

As part of that investigation, they should take a complete recorded statement from you and your passenger.  Did you originally share with them that the passenger had grabbed the wheel?  If not, whatever you say now appears contradictory.  You would have to explain why you did not include that detail previously.  Quite frankly, I'm not certain how this would matter. What was the passenger's intention?  And why could you not gain control?  Ultimately you would more than likely be held responsible regardless of the passenger's actions, however there could be other factors.  I stress that it is important for you to stay informed.

Clearly you have liability insurance.  As long as your carrier handles the claim properly, that is, after all, why you have this coverage.

Was it the right thing to do to follow the advice of the owner/passenger's carrier?  I'm not seeing why they had any say in it.  The coverage had lapsed.  They should have left it at that.
Depending on the terms of your policy, you should have called your carrier to notify them of the accident as soon as you discovered that the vehicle you were driving did not have coverage.  You would do this to advise them in a timely manner that someone could be filing a liability claim against you.  But fully accepting fault under the circumstances?  You should have explained the situation to them in detail. Did the other driver contribute in any way? Ultimately your admission might not matter, but the passenger grabbing the wheel was certainly relevant.

And, no, your policy would not cover any vehicle damages to the vehicle you were driving. You are involved strictly on the BI liability.

Good luck

Jane Pytel

Auto Insurance Claims

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Jane Pytel


I can answer questions related to auto accidents, auto damage, auto theft claims, or personal injury claims. I am specifically suited to answer questions concerning insurance investigations and the effects of those investigations such as claim delays, claim denials, examinations under oath, or the special investigations unit. I can answer most any question that relates to proper claims investigations, or claims handling procedures and processes. I have authored several ebooks which provide claim guidance for consumers. Those books are available on Amazon Kindle: Power To Profit - will provide you with the knowledge you need to overcome the patterned obstacles that insurance companies will use to delay, devalue, or deny your valid insurance claim. The No Nonsense Guide to Accident Settlement - Teaches you how to manage your claim, how to identify the precise tactics likely to be used against you, and how you must respond.


12 years of experience with 3 major insurance companies. I hold an all lines adjusters license in Florida. I am well versed in claims handling, claims investigations, and industry standards related to both. The bulk of my experience stems from my 10 years as a police officer / detective. Building on that investigative experience, I became an SIU (Special Investigations Unit) Investigator. Accordingly, my unique expertise lies in the investigation of claims. What is necessary and related, what is not necessary and related? What constitutes a fair claims investigation? What recourse is available for consumers who suspect they are experiencing unfair claims delays? During the course of my experience, I became a certified trainer, instructing adjusters and investigators proper techniques for claims investigation and claims handling.

B.A., Communications, University of Miami 350 credit hours of intense investigative training, Miami Dade Police 80 hours of investigative training, various Federal Agencies, Miami, Fl Intensive Accident Reconstruction and Pedestrian Injury Analysis, NHTSA, National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, Oklahoma City, OK 2 weeks Auto Damage Appraisal, Winston Salem, NC Legal Principles Claim Specialist, AEI

©2016 All rights reserved.