What Happens in Florida When an Excluded Driver Causes a Crash?
Posted on behalf of Gordon & Partners on Jan 18, 2022 in Auto Accidents
Insurance companies or policyholders may decide to exclude drivers from car insurance policies for one reason or another. An insurance company may want to prevent a risky driver from operating an insured vehicle while a policyholder may want to save money on his or her car insurance.
But what if an excluded driver causes a crash? Is he or she liable for any injuries and damages?
Injured car crash victims in Florida have numerous rights which they may be unaware of. This may include the right to no-fault benefits and a third-party claim for compensation. Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to file a claim for compensation based on negligence.
A trusted car crash lawyer in West Palm Beach is here to help. If you have a case, we are prepared to represent you and seek maximum compensation. Gordon & Partners has a proven track record, recovering millions of dollars for our clients. Our consultations are 100 percent free.
What Is an Excluded Driver on Insurance?
An excluded driver is anyone a policyholder requests his or her insurance company to not cover. Excluded drivers are generally risky drivers. One example is teenagers.
A parent or legal guardian may decide to exclude a teen driver who has been ticketed for one or more traffic violations. Parents may feel it is better to restrict driving privileges until the teen is older and more mature.
Excluded drivers can cause insurance premiums to increase and may include:
- Anyone with a poor driving record
- Inexperienced or novice drivers
- Drivers without a license
- Drivers with too many traffic citations
- Anyone with a past driving conviction
- Drivers with previous crashes and claims
Since excluded drivers will not be covered by the policyholder’s insurer, they cannot legally operate the insured’s vehicle.
How to Exclude a Driver From a Car Insurance Policy
A new bill (SB 420) recently passed in Florida allows policyholders to fully exclude certain drivers from their car insurance policy. This bill particularly includes members of their own households.
Beforehand, insurance companies were obligated to provide minimum coverage for drivers explicitly excluded from a car insurance policy. An excluded driver could potentially drive up the insurance rates for everyone in the household. Policyholders can now completely exclude a driver, such as a reckless teenager, from their insurance policy. This provision is one way policyholders can help keep their premiums down and maintain coverage.
The excluded driver will need to have his or her own vehicle and own insurance policy to keep driving.
Florida Statutes §627.747, otherwise titled the Named Driver Exclusion, allows policyholders to exclude drivers from the following coverages:
- Personal injury protection
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Uninsured motorist
- Any other coverage not required to be purchased
To exclude a driver from a car insurance policy, the policyholder must consent in writing to exclude the driver. He or she must also identify the individual on the declarations page of a policy and/or on an endorsement.
The statute does not, however, exclude a driver from coverage in the following situations:
- If the individual was injured while not operating a motor vehicle
- If the individual is excluded solely based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, handicap, pregnancy or marital status
- If the exclusion is not consistent with the insured’s underwriting rules filed
Injured Car Crash Victims Pursuing Compensation
If the excluded driver operates the vehicle, despite having no coverage under the policy, and causes a crash, he or she will likely be considered an uninsured driver. For car crash victims wanting to obtain financial compensation, this can raise some valid concerns.
Uninsured motorist coverage – which is optional to purchase in Florida – could help cover your damages, including medical expenses and lost wages. You would need to file a claim under your own car insurance policy in this situation.
Insurance companies must offer at least:
- 10,000 in bodily injury coverage per person; and
- Up to $20,000 in bodily injury coverage per crash
If your injuries are serious enough, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against the excluded driver or a lawsuit against the owner of the vehicle. However, obtaining a recovery from an at-fault driver’s personal assets can be challenging. We recommend working with a lawyer who has experience handling car crash cases. He or she can evaluate your circumstances and offer guidance on your available legal options.
Reach Out to Schedule a Free Consultation
Our firm has represented many car crash victims over the years and has a history of proven results. We also have in-depth knowledge of Florida’s car insurance laws and how these laws may be relevant to you.
There is no risk in contacting us to schedule a free consultation and zero obligation to have us represent you. We are ready to answer any questions you may have over the phone anytime, day or night.