Learning to drive is a family milestone—for parents and teenagers alike.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get swept up in the moment and forget to take care of the finer details, like auto insurance.
When it comes to car wrecks, Louisiana is a fault state. This means that police and insurance adjusters will determine fault and the person at fault will have legal liabilities and their insurance carrier will be responsible for payouts.
For this reason, it’s important to understand how your insurance and your child’s insurance work in the case of an accident, which is what this blog will discuss. Additionally, our team at Pierce & Shows is happy to walk you through the decision-making process
What do I tell the insurance company?
One of the first things every parent of a driving teenager should do is call their insurance company. It’s wise to speak with your insurance agent even before your teen gets his or her permit.
Insurance companies’ policies can vary, so it’s important to know exactly what your insurer expects from you and the drivers in your household.
When speaking with your insurance agent, it is important to discuss the driving habits of your teen. Some questions may include:
- Will your teen be using your car on a daily basis?
- Will he or she ultimately have a car of his/her own?
- How much will your teen be driving your vehicle?
These answers can help your insurance agent determine the best course of action that protects your entire family in the event of a car accident—particularly one where your teen is at-fault.
What if my teen isn’t listed on my insurance and they wreck my car?
It’s common knowledge that teenagers behind the wheel face significant challenges on the road. Their inexperience and tendency to engage in reckless behavior could result in serious crashes.
Other issues that could put your teen driver at risk include:
- Substance use
- Lack of sleep
- Poor judgment
- Distracted driving
- Inexperience / lack of reflexes
These issues can also come back to haunt parents when it comes to legal issues that arise from car accidents.
What your insurer will cover regarding an accident involving your teen can vary wildly on certain circumstances and the insurance company’s policies. If your teen is at-fault and is unlicensed to drive, you could be legally liable for the damages caused and your insurance company will likely not pick up the tab.
As a rule of thumb, any licensed driver in your household and one that uses your vehicle(s) on a regular basis should be listed on your insurance policy. A proactive approach to ensuring your family is covered can save you tens of thousands of dollars in legal bills and a number of other unpleasant headaches.
What should I do if my teen gets in a car accident?
Whether your teen has insurance or not, it is wise to consult with an attorney experienced with car accidents in Louisiana.
Many car accidents are settled outside the courtroom, but dealing with insurance companies can sometimes leave policy holders out in the cold.
Remember that insurance companies have profits and their business to protect. This means they may offer inadequate payouts or drag their feet with your claim. Hiring an attorney can help put pressure on your insurer to act quickly and ethically.
Our team at Pierce & Shows is here to help
If your teen has been involved in an accident, we encourage you to call our firm. We serve families in and around Baton Rouge, Louisiana, helping through injury issues and working to get their lives back on track. Contact our office today to speak with a helpful member of our team.