Question: If grandparents have a granddaughter under the age of 25 living in their home, is she still covered under their insurance policy if she sneaks out with the car out at night? She has a full license and is listed on their policy.
Answer: Yes, a child or grandchild who sneaks out with an insured car during the night – or even during the day -- should be covered by the vehicle’s car insurance policy if the young driver is a listed driver.
If a person had access to household car keys and is listed as a driver for household vehicles, it’s assumed by car insurance companies the person has authorized use of these vehicles.
In the situation you described, the grandparents may forbid the young driver from going out at night, and punish the granddaughter if she defies house rules, but the car insurance company doesn’t really care about household rules and wouldn’t cut off the grandchild from the car insurance policy’s benefits is she was in an accident.
If the car insurance company is charging for a driver to be on the policy, it should cover that driver no matter what time the driver is driving or if he or she breaks rules set in place by the car owner -- or even state.
For instance, if this was a teen driver who had just a permit and she broke the nighttime restrictions placed on her by the state by sneaking out at night with the car, she could be ticketed by police. However, if she were in an accident while driving at night it would still be covered by the vehicle’s car insurance -- as long as she was listed as a driver on the policy.
The ticket such a teen would receive for violating permit restrictions could then affect the household car insurance rates, like a minor traffic violation would, if it were placed on her driving record. If the offense didn’t get placed on her record, then the insurer couldn’t use it to raise rates.
Breaking insurance companies’ rules
It’s one thing to break household rules and sneak out with a car; it’s quite another thing to break rules an insurance company has, especially exceptions to coverages that are specifically written in your policy. If a driver breaks these “rules,” then a car insurance accident would not be covered.
Typical exclusions, situations that aren’t covered by car insurance policies, include:
- Using your vehicle for racing purposes
- Using the vehicle for livery or delivery services
- Damages resulting from catastrophic events such as war, nuclear exposure or explosion
- Intentional damage or injury to others
- Intentional damage to your own vehicle
- Liability coverage for damage to your own property