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Can the insurer refuse to cover damages caused by a driver who is not listed on the policy?

Seguro de automóviles

It is a frequent situation that the youngest children use their parents’ vehicle, the latter being the only ones who appear as drivers of the vehicle in the insurance policy. In the event of an accident, the insurer may refuse to cover the damages on the grounds that the insured’s child is not listed as the driver. If this were to happen, the question arises as to whether it would be feasible to sue the insurer claiming both for the repair of the insured’s own damages and for the damages caused to the injured third parties.

In relation to damages to third parties, covered by the compulsory insurance (SOA), this is a civil liability insurance that covers damages to third parties whoever the driver or the policyholder is, although the law establishes some exceptions:

  • damages caused by injuries or death of the driver of the vehicle causing the accident;
  • damage to property suffered by the insured vehicle, by the things transported therein or by the property owned by the policyholder, the insured, the owner or the driver, as well as those of the spouse or relatives up to the third degree of consanguinity or affinity of the foregoing; and
  • those who suffered damages due to the circulation of the causal vehicle, if it had been stolen.

In short, damages suffered by third parties cannot be excluded from the coverage of the compulsory automobile insurance, although material damages to the insured vehicle can be excluded.

As regards the own damages covered by the voluntary insurance, the policy in which the compulsory civil liability insurance contract is formalized may include, on an optional basis, the coverages freely agreed between the policyholder and the insurance company. The voluntary insurance is configured as a complement for everything that the compulsory insurance does not cover.

It is necessary to analyze whether or not the risk is covered by such insurance, for which it would be necessary to examine the content of the contract to know whether or not a child, possibly very young and novice in driving, is included in the voluntary accident insurance subscribed. Or, in other words, if the voluntary accident insurance included any driver or only the driver declared in the policy.

If you are in a similar situation, our professionals will be able to advise you in the defense of your rights.