“Dad sues over car damaged in chase”

by Walter Olson on April 6, 2007

Because if your insurer wasn’t willing to pay for damages to your car incurred after your family member led police on a high-speed chase, why was it willing to collect the premiums in the first place? (Beth Warren, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Apr. 6).

{ 8 comments }

1 Justinian Lane 04.06.07 at 3:25 pm

Sounds like a fun girl.

I wonder if the policy specifically excludes lawful damages.

2 jb 04.06.07 at 4:31 pm

I guess we know the price for his sense of shame.

I’ve never faced $12,000 in expenses, but although I’m far less well-off than this guy, I don’t think I could make this demand with a straight face.

3 nevins 04.06.07 at 5:50 pm

Sounds like this girl needs some serious parenting. But she’s in the mess she’s in because her parents aren’t up to the task.
Her biggest worry she stated was that her folks would sell her car if she got in trouble again. About time she answered for the consequences of her own actions. Daddy needs to be charging her for the damage.
Unless he’s willing to press charges against her for theft of the vehicle, then the damages incurred were completely willful and the insurer shouldn’t have to pay.

4 Griffin3 04.06.07 at 5:52 pm

I’m usually just as rabid as the next guy, but I don’t know about this one. Seems to me, the insurance company should pay for the damages to the car, the same as if someone had stolen the car and given it the same (mis)treatment. Unless there is speicifically a rider to exclude theft, etc.

Then again, there’s no reason that the insurance company shouldn’t insist on the driver being prosecuted for theft, if that is the reason they are paying the claim (or as a condition for them to pay) …

5 Justinian Lane 04.06.07 at 8:58 pm

Griffin3 makes an interesting point: If the policy specifically excludes “lawful damages” caused by an insured or a permissive user, then the parents could claim their daughter stole the car and insist the damages be paid on those grounds. Hmm…

6 Ryan Frank 04.07.07 at 11:34 am

In fact, its pretty much impossible to get a payment for damaged that happened when a car is stolen unless you report the theft and give the insurance a copy of the police report. Since Daddy dearest here doesnt want to send his daughter to jail (understandable) it means he doesn’t have a leg to stand on for collecting damaged.

7 Melvin 04.07.07 at 1:56 pm

The difference is, the insurance company would then not pay out, on the grounds the policy doesn’t cover that, then the parents would sue the insurance company (for whatever reason–maybe get Dickie Scruggs or Trent Lott from MS’s Katrina/State Farm cases) and we’d still be here.

8 Phaedrus 04.07.07 at 6:06 pm

I know that some policies flatly forbid claims for family members (or sometimes for people living in the same household) who aren’t listed drivers on the policy, for exactly this reason — it’s too easy to let everyone drive the car, then claim after the fact that they didn’t have permission.

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