Teenage drivers in Michigan must be named on an automobile insurance policy covering the vehicle they will be driving. This means that once your teen has passed their road test and is legally licensed to drive, as the parent, you should notify your insurer before your teenager actually begins driving independently. Your insurance company can then add your teenager to your policy as a “named driver” for all of the vehicles that they will regularly be driving. This would also be a good time to confirm with your insurer whether any additional coverage should be added.
On a separate note, if the vehicle your teen will be driving is going to be purchased and titled in only your teen’s name, most insurance companies will require that a separate automobile no-fault insurance policy be purchased specifically for that vehicle. In instances such as these, only the teenage driver’s name will be listed on the insurance policy.
It may come as no surprise that adding your teen to your policy will likely increase your insurance rates significantly. In an attempt to combat this increased expense, some people may be tempted to withhold information from their insurance company regarding their teen drivers.
DO NOT DO THIS!
If a policy is purchased without full transparency and honesty, the insurance company can legally cancel your policy, even after an automobile accident has occurred. This could mean that you and your teen driver will lose out on your benefits, including your insurer not paying your medical bills and you losing the ability to bring a lawsuit against an at-fault driver. This is true even if your teenager is completely free of fault and/or was seriously injured in the accident!
By keeping your insurance company up to date with who will be driving your vehicles, you’ll ensure that you are not paying your insurance premiums for benefits you will be disqualified from receiving.
If you have any questions, please contact Emily or your Fraser Trebilcock attorney.
Emily M. Vanderlaan is a litigation associate at Fraser Trebilcock serving some of the largest and most sophisticated insurers in Michigan. From case evaluation, to settlement negotiations, to trial and appeal work, Emily has experience representing insurance companies in a wide range of cases in Michigan state courts. You can reach her at (517) 377.0882 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.