My wife wrecked my car. She doesn't have a license and shouldn't
have been driving. I was at work when this happened.
Will my car insurance pay if she is found at fault?
Your situation is akin to a parent whose
takes the family car for a spin and crashes. It depends upon
the details of your auto insurance policy if the accident will be
covered or not.
In general, auto insurers require that you not only disclose all
regular operators of your car, but also all household members of a
certain age (driving age in your state usually) - whether the
individuals are licensed or not. (See "
Who can drive your car?
How household members who aren't licensed are listed on the
policy can vary depending upon the car insurance company.
Some auto insurers mark unlicensed drivers as "unlicensed," and if
they aren't going to be rated on, then the person will also be
marked as "unrated" so that the individual won't affect your car
If your insurance company was aware of your spouse and had her
on the policy as unrated, due to her lack of a driver's license,
then it's very possible that the incident will be covered.
It's highly probable, however, that your auto insurance company
you at the end of your policy period, or it'll require you to now
add your wife to the policy as a rated driver (and pay a premium
for her) -- even if she isn't licensed - now that she has driven
your vehicle without being licensed and crashed it.
If you had failed to inform your car insurance provider that you
had a spouse, then it could assert that there was misrepresentation
on your part. In many states, if material
misrepresentation is found out about, car insurance companies are
able to deny claims and cancel your policy.
If your spouse were specifically excluded from your policy, then
you should know from the language of the exclusion form that this
incident wouldn't be covered.
Excluding an individual from your policy means if that person
operates your vehicle he or she won't be covered in any way by your
auto insurance coverages or benefits. (See "
What is a named driver exclusion?
Ultimately, to find out if this accident will be covered by your
auto insurance policy, if she is found at-fault, you'll have to
contact your insurer directly.
If your wife is covered in this instance by your auto insurance
policy, then if she is found at fault the damages she caused others
would be covered by your liability coverages (bodily injury and
property damage). For damage to your own vehicle, you would
need to collision coverage to make a claim, and the deductible
would be due.
It appears your wife wants to drive, so she needs to get a valid
license. To help get the best rates for both of you on one
household auto insurance policy, start comparison shopping
now. Shopping around for the cheapest rates will be important
whether your wife is newly licensed or reinstating her license
after a suspension or revocation. (See "3 ways to save big on