We are required to have auto liability insurance and I understand the reasoning for that and we do have it. In fact, in this litigious age in which we live, we have an excess coverage/umbrella policy. We’ve been with Liberty Mutual for years. They give a decent discount to Georgia Tech grads. I wish we could go with USAA but we don’t qualify.
We’ve received our auto insurance policy renewal info today and I’m one of those who reads every work of the policy and was surprised to see this change:
“Only persons listed within the Drivers section of your Personal Liability Protection Policy Declarations Page and who have a valid driver’s license are covered for motor vehicle liability.
“Your policy no longer provides motor vehicle liability to drivers operating your vehicle with your permission unless those drivers are listed on your Policy Declarations Page. This means if you let someone else use your motor vehicle and they are not listed on your Policy Declarations Page, they would not be covered.“
This means that if my friend and I are driving halfway across the country to a quilting or knitting retreat and I want her to drive across a scary bridge, I would have no liability coverage while she’s driving. It means if Nicole and I are driving back to Texas for her to help me pack and she drives for a while, I would have no liability coverage. Chances are (1) the other driver’s coverage would provide coverage and (2) there wouldn’t be an accident so it wouldn’t matter but, for what we pay for insurance, and it’s always been that anyone with permission to drive our cars is covered, I’m not happy about it and we’ve already gotten a quote from State Farm.
The problem is, in my opinion, if this flies with Liberty Mutual, other companies will soon do the same thing.
I called Liberty Mutual and they sent me this email.
“Thank you for contacting Liberty Mutual for more information about the Auto policy referenced above.
Coverage on this policy automatically extends to a licensed driver, as long as that driver has <your/your husband> permission to drive the insured vehicle.“
I’m not an attorney, I’m not giving legal advice (not even to myself), but my understanding is that the policy language always prevails and what this email says is totally opposite from what the policy says.
I called our agent and he seemed blindsided by it, asked me to send him the new language as he hasn’t heard about that.
Why do we have to watch every single thing and fight so hard to get these companies to do what’s best for us? I think about how many people don’t even read the policy language and would also be blindsided by something like this which, unfortunately, would not even probably be recognized til after an accident and the coverage was denied.
With the packing and everything else going on, I did not need to spend over an hour dealing with this (so . . why did I spend half an hour writing a blog post about it?) 🙂