Graduation time is coming up fast, and many young drivers will be the recipients of new cars in honor of the occasion. If you’re planning on gifting your graduate with a brand new vehicle, you need to make sure you cover the car properly with your insurance company to avoid the potential for lawsuits down the road.
While no one wants to think about their 18-year old “responsible” child causing an accident or being injured in one, the fact remains that teens are still responsible for more accidents than any other age category. Teens also are more likely to leave their cars unlocked, leave valuables in the car, or otherwise be “irresponsible.”
Many families will purchase (or lease) a new vehicle for their teen to drive. When they realize that insuring their young adult to drive the vehicle is going to cost an arm and a leg, they switch the coverage so that their child is covered on an older, lesser valued vehicle, while a parent is covered on the new one. This happens even though the teen may be driving the brand new car every single day.
This may be fine with your insurance agent as long as no accidents occur. However, if your child is insured on a 1975 Taurus and crashes in his 2012 Camaro, or has it broken into in the dorm parking lot, your insurance company could decide there’s a problem and deny the claim.
Attorneys deal with insurance companies all the time, and we see lots of situations where families are “saving money” by insuring their children on lesser valued vehicles than what they are actually driving on a daily basis. If you’re considering doing this, be sure you weigh the alternatives.
In the long-run, it’s usually less expensive to stick to the law of the land and properly insure your teens on the vehicles they drive. If you have questions about this sort of liability, or if you’re fighting an insurance company because of this sort of situation, give David Van Sant a call and we’ll see how we can help.
David Van Sant is a personal injury attorney in Georgia who deals with the victims of all sorts of car accidents and insurance claims.