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WARNING! CHECK YOUR INSURANCE POLICY!

September 18th, 2017

Normally, automobile insurance policies insures anyone who a policy holder permits to drive their car for liability that the permitted driver may have if they negligently cause an accident.  This is called “Permissive Driver Coverage.”  However, in a case handed down on September 18, 2017, the Pennsylvania Superior Court held that an insurance carrier can exclude “Permissive Driver Coverage” if the permitted driver is not related to the policy holder, is living with the policy holder, and is not specifically listed on the policy.  This exclusion is called the “Unlisted Resident Driver Exclusion.” In this case, Safe Auto’s policy holder allowed his live-in girlfriend to drive his car.  She then caused an accident through her negligence, and was sued.  Safe Auto refused to cover her for her liability because of this exclusion.  The parties went to court on the question of whether Safe Auto owed liability insurance coverage to the policy holder’s girlfriend, and a divided three judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled in favor of Safe Auto.  The case is Safe Auto Insurance Company v. Oriental-Guillermo, 2017 W.L. 4124219, Opinion by Dubow, J., joined by Solano, J.  Dissenting opinion by Ford Elliott, P.J.E.

 

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