Is a young driver covered by his father’s insurance in the event of an accident?

The inquiries of this type that we receive in AEA (EUROPEAN AUTOMOVILISTAS ASOCIADOS) are frequent regarding whether or not to include children who have just obtained a driving license in the family car insurance, especially due to the significant price increase experienced by the policy .

To answer these questions, it is necessary to remember what the insurance we have purchased covers and what the limitations or exclusions of the policies are.

Colloquially we usually say that we have “full risk” or “third party” insurance, when in reality what we contract is a set of insurance with different coverages, among which are the “Compulsory driver’s liability insurance” and “voluntary” insurance.

Obligatory insurance

The only insurance that we are obliged to take out to use a motor vehicle is the “Compulsory driver’s liability insurance”.

This insurance is regulated by the Law on Civil Liability and Insurance in the Circulation of Motor Vehicles, and covers damage caused by the driver of a vehicle – regardless of age or length of driving license – to a third party.

The Law does not exclude the coverage of this insurance because the driver is young or has just obtained a driving license. It doesn’t matter what the policy says.

Based on this mandatory insurance, the insurer must pay damages caused to third parties by any driver up to the limit of 70 million euros per claim for the victims and 15 million euros per claim for property damage.

Almost all of the damages caused to third parties with the vehicle are paid out of this compulsory insurance.

The insurer will only be exonerated from this payment obligation if the damage caused was due to the fraudulent conduct of the driver, owner of the offending vehicle and the insured, or to driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages or toxic drugs, narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances or , in the case of driving the vehicle by someone who lacks a driving license.

If these fraudulent circumstances arise, the insurer will always pay the injured parties but then it will be able to “repeat” against the driver, owner of the causal vehicle and the insured to recover what was paid.

Therefore, in the event that your child drives your vehicle and has an accident, the mandatory civil liability insurance must address the damages caused to a third party -up to the limit and with the exclusions indicated-, even if they are young, they end to obtain a driver’s license or it is not included in your policy.

Volunteer insurance

In addition to the compulsory insurance, other insurances are usually contracted voluntarily that are governed by what has been agreed and are included in the policy.

The exclusions or limitations of these “voluntary insurances” related to the age of the driver, age of the driving license; Obligation to take the vehicle to repair to arranged workshops; paying VAT on repairs for being a company, etc., must be expressly highlighted in the policy and expressly accepted by the insured.

The most frequent voluntary insurances that are usually contracted are:

Complementary driver’s liability insurance, which adds an additional coverage of 50 million euros more to the coverage of the compulsory insurance.

Fire Insurance.

Theft insurance.

Own Damage Insurance.

Travel assistance insurance.

Driver accident insurance.

Defense insurance and damage claim.

Sustitution vehicle.

Driving license loss of validity insurance.

Glass breakage.

Accidents with game species.

etc.

What we colloquially call “comprehensive insurance” includes insurance that protects the vehicle (theft, fire and own damage). If we do not include these three insurances, we are faced with “third party” or “improved third party” insurance.

In claims that affect “voluntary insurance”, the insurance company can exclude or proportionally reduce compensation if the causal driver does not meet the requirements stated in the policy and this penalty has been expressly agreed and accepted.

If these limitations or exclusions are not contemplated in the policy, they cannot be applied by the insurer to the detriment of the insured.

Therefore, we recommend that you review your policy to understand your rights. You may not need to expand your insurance or have to pay a premium increase for your new child.

BASIC RULES TO CONTRACT INSURANCE

1. Do not trust what they say to you by word of mouth. The insurance contract must always be in writing.

2. Don’t just ask what the insurance covers. Also ask about coverage limitations or exclusions.

3. When comparing prices between different insurers, also compare the coverages, since under the nomenclature of “comprehensive insurance” or “third party insurance” there may be very significant coverage variations.

4. When you pay the premium, demand the corresponding receipt issued by the insurance company. Remember that the first requirement to be insured is to be up to date with your premium payment. In terms of insurance, the “I’ll pay you” is not worth it.

5. Review your policy coverage annually, especially if you take out “full risk” insurance. Remember that every year the value of your car depreciates and it could happen that over the years you are paying more premium than the compensation that may correspond to you in the event of a total loss.

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