Auto Insurance Claims/car insurance

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Question
Hello:
I live in connecticut.  My question is.....if my friend buys a car but is unable to get insurance because of his driving record and I get the policy in my name and list him as a driver and then he gets into an accident which is his fault, would I be held financially responsible or would he as the driver of the car?

Answer
Hi,
I am limited to giving a general answer because I am not familiar with any exact Conneticut insurance statutes as they may apply. Also remember that my advice is limited to my experience of 2 decades dealing with insurance policies and that I am not a lawyer and can't give legal advice.
Now that is done, I will try to answer your question.

Many states require that in order to insure the vehicle, the insured must have a financial interest in the vehicle. This would mean that unless you owned it or were making payments on the vehicle, you would have no insurable interests, thus you could not insure a car you don't own.

This is where my ignorance on Connecticut insurance law falls short, because there are some states I am aware of, in which you do not need ownership of the vehicle, like California and Texas.
If you buy the car, insure it, that won't be a problem, however if his driving record is that bad and list him as a driver, you will find this problematic, because they will come back and list him as a named driver that is excluded from the policy. You could also run into a rate hike if you are living with that friend.

You were also not specific as to how bad his record is. Assuming that he has a valid driver's license, is he required to file a SR 22?

You are putting yourself in a very dangerous situation here. Let's say that you can insure the car with no insurable interest in the vehicle because it isn't yours. He drives it (Insurance company not aware of the liability exposure with him driving and he gets into an accident. The insurance company may possibly return the money you paid for the policy and state the car was never insured, because you were not driving the vehicle. This could make you personally liable for his accident and if there are personal injuries, this could ruin you financially for a very long time.

In the event you own the vehicle and he is driving and is in an accident, the carrier will probably pay to the limits of the coverage. Your rates will sky rocket, and the insurance company may subrogate against you for damages that they paid.

Insurance companies these days are very hard to trick these days. They have access to information on insureds that law enforcement would need a warrant for!
ISO (Insurance Service Office) is a database that all insurance companies share information on for claims, vehicles and insureds.
Let's say you had State Farm 10 years ago and you were involved in a crash. Everything is there! The damage estimates, who checks were made to, who was at fault, everything! Now you have American Family. American family has access to this information. Even though driving records only go back three years, ISO may have records going back 20!

In my view, I would have your friend get their own insurance. They may be a friend now, but as you know, these things could change. In that event, you may be stuck with problems far past ths friend!

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Rob Painter, Ase, CFEI, CAFATE

Expertise

Please remember. I am not an attorney and cannot legal advice. My answers are based on my experience due to litigation I have been involved in as an expert, for both insurance companies and while oposing them opposing them. I deal with only comprehensive claims on autos related to fire and theft. I have even had the opportunity to rewrite policy coverage language as it relates to vehicle theft and forced entry for insurance defense attorneys.

Experience

Experience in the area: Working with insurance companies and attorneys on these issues for over 20 years. It is very common to have a reported stolen car with a so-called factory anti-theft system to have the theft claim denied. I have served successfully as an expert witness in the courts across the US representing the insured and their attorney revealing that the insurance expert did not take all known theories into consideration before rendering their "Forensic" conclusion. Many insurance carriers us independent "Forensic" experts to examine reported stolen vehicles commonly using flawed methodology implicating the innocent insured with the theft. My job is to determine if the insurance expert reached his conclusions based on accepted scientific principals or just net opinion with no basis other than opinion. My case record against such experts is very compelling.My resume can be seen at the catagory "Auto Theft and Prevention." In "Forensics" the scientific method must be employed. In the forensic locksmith field determining how a reported stolen vehicle was last operated, many processes cannot be duplicated and are conveniently not addressed. If they were, juries would have the opportunity to make a fair and impartial opinion at least about what the expert could or could not prove. There is a purported process determining the last key used. The chances of determining such is very rare uless the key is found in the ignition lock. Experts commonly destroy evidence as well and are rarely questioned on this event. I reveal the weakness in their testimony on such instances.

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