PA Court Rules on Auto Insurance "Unlisted Resident Driver Exclusion"

Be careful letting your roommate borrow your car. Your insurance company might not cover any accident that happens.

In Safe Auto Ins. v. Oriental-Guillermo, 2017 PA Super 297 (Sept 18, 2017), the Pennsylvania Superior Court ruled that an “Unlisted Resident Driver Exclusion” is valid in Pennsylvania. This means that your car insurance carrier could have an exclusion in your policy that can deny coverage in the event of an accident caused by someone you live with who was driving your car - unless they are specifically listed on your auto insurance.

In the case of Oriental-Guillermo, Rachel Dixon borrowed the car of her live-in boyfriend, Rene Oriental-Guillermo. However, she was not specifically listed on his car insurance policy. Unfortunately, Dixon was involved in an accident and because of this exclusion, Safe Auto refused to provide coverage in a claim brought by the injured passenger of the other vehicle involved in the accident.

Dixon could end up becoming personally liable for both the property damage to the other vehicle and for the personal injuries sustained by the other people involved in the accident. The attorney representing the injured passenger says that Safe Auto using the exclusion to deny coverage is "part of a continuing effort by the insurance carriers to maximize profits by minimizing coverage.”

According to the Superior Court's ruling, the unlisted resident exclusion is enforceable under the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, and the goal is to encourage vehicle owners to obtain proper insurance for people they expect will be driving their vehicle. It is the responsibility of the insured to determine who they want to buy coverage for.

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