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FAQ Friday#5 – Uninsured drivers + an interesting question about insurance coverage

Hi everybody Washington State personal injury attorney Matt Dubin here for my next installment of FAQ Friday and just a reminder that thank you Friday is for you I would like to be of service by answering any questions you have about car accidents auto insurance the personal injury claims process or really anything about our civil justice system if you have any questions please post them in the comments to this video or in the post later on next week when we announce next week’s FAQ Friday we would love to answer your questions again this is a lower quality webcam that I’m using this week so I apologize if the quality is a little bit lower than what you’re used to we’ll work on it but this is just what I’ve got for right now also before I get into the questions I just want to let all of you know that during the month of September we will be giving away webcams to one lucky winner from our Everett page and one lucky winner from our Seattle page so follow our pages pay attention watch for that post where we announce the contest to give away webcams and like it share it tag somebody and you’ll be in the running to win a webcam but for those of you who don’t win one get a webcam I mean I’m sorry a dashcam a dashcam for your car get a dashcam for your car and don’t let it sit on a table or on a counter or something get it out of the box install it in your car I can’t tell you how many times – cam footage would make the difference in proving who is at fault for causing an accident get a dashcam frankly I think the car manufacturers should integrate dash cams as standard equipment in all new cars it’s just that important get yourself a dash cam get it installed and use it and if you don’t want to buy one again follow our Seattle page and our Everett page on Facebook enter yourself into those contests and hopefully you’ll be the winner so let’s get right to the questions this week we have two questions from andreia and the first question I’m just going to touch on because we did answer it in our very first FAQ Friday and the question is what happens if the person who caused the accident does not have insurance and again I’d like to refer you back to FAQ Friday number one where I addressed this question but the short answer is the best way you can protect yourself in a situation like that is to make sure you’ve got uninsured underinsured motorist coverage they come together in Washington um slash uim this will protect you if you’re hit and injured by a person who doesn’t have insurance and the reality is although Washington state law requires every driver to have at least 25,000 and liability coverage there’s a significant percentage it’s approaching 20% of drivers on the roads in Washington who have no insurance at all protect yourself get uninsured underinsured motorist coverage and frankly pay a little more just a little more and get more uninsured underinsured coverage you’ll need it if you get hurt hit by an uninsured person and really twenty five thousand is nothing so that’s the answer to that question now for the really interesting one again from Andreia and I’ll read I just became aware that when I changed my auto policy I should have added my daughter to the new insurance policy she turned 21 yesterday and is currently driving a rented camper van with other kids around New Zealand is she totally uninsured yikes and yeah yikes is right so first let me ask you this and this is for Andreea and for everyone who’s watching today would you sign a contract without reading it first I’m guessing that you’re saying to yourself no I wouldn’t sign a contract without signing it first but guess what your auto insurance policy is a contract it’s a contract between you and the insurer so deed you read your whole auto policy before you signed it my guess is no you didn’t so you’ve entered into a contract with an insurance company without reading it so the short answer is any questions about who’s covered under what circumstances it’s all part of the contract it’s not established by law it’s an agreement between you and your insurance company what should be covered up to how much under what circumstances so step one for you Andreea and for everyone who’s watching it’s boring and you’d rather not do it but take a few minutes and pull out your auto policy and read it read the exclusions read what’s included read the coverage then maybe have a conversation with your agent to make sure that you actually have the coverage that you want so as far as a child and in this case an adult child she’s 21 whether she’s covered under your policy without being specifically added by name there’s a lot of factors that go into it is she a member of your household does she live with you or does she live somewhere else is she possibly covered by any other car insurance in your particular case she’s out of the country she’s in New Zealand and typically a US auto policy will not cover a person whether they’re named on the policy or not if they’re operating a vehicle or passenger in a vehicle outside the country my guess is because I know you Andreea that your daughter is smart and that she probably has traveler’s insurance and not the company travelers but traveler insurance trip insurance and that trip insurance could cover her if she’s involved in a motor vehicle accident on her trip in a foreign country again trip insurance is a contract – so you need to look and see but let’s say she wasn’t in New Zealand let’s say she was still in the United States then there there’s again questions if she’s a member of your household who has regular use your vehicles for her own purposes then she’s got to be named on the policy in order to be covered if she’s not named there may be no coverage for her now if she’s not a member of the household but she occasionally borrows your car she might be covered again it’s determined by the language of the policy but just like if your next-door neighbor came over and said hey my car’s in the shop can I borrow your car to drive to the store and the car is wrecked she would probably be covered by your insurance again the definitive answer can only be determined by reading the policy and seeing what the language says but in general if you have a child a teenager or an adult child who is a member of your household and has regular use of your vehicles you need to add them to the policy they need to be a named insured and if they’re not you’re definitely running the risk that if they’re involved in an accident they won’t be covered at all also if she has her own vehicle that’s not a vehicle you own but a different vehicle then she’s going to need her own insurance and you can work that out too so look it’s a scary situation when you’ve got kids that are driving and again I don’t know your particular situation if she’s a member of the household or not but it’s always safest if you have somebody whether they’re a family member or a roommate or somebody else and they’re regularly using your vehicle you need to add them to your policy it might increase your premiums a little bit in the short term but in the long term if somebody gets hurt whether they cause an accident hurt someone else or whether they are hurt in an accident you’ll be glad that you took that step to add them to the policy I hope that answers your question I love being able to address these questions about car insurance auto accidents and anything really about the civil justice system so that is our I believe it’s the fifth maybe the sixth FAQ Friday I’m really enjoying doing these and I want to keep doing it so send me your questions and again we’re into September now summers coming to an end kids are going back to school that means kids are out on the streets so drive carefully watch out for kids and from all of us at the Dubin Law Group be safe and have a great fall.