Portland, OR asked in Contracts and Insurance Bad Faith for Oregon

Q: Is it legal for my car insurer to make me pay to insure my boyfriend after adding him to my policy without permission?

My boyfriend does not drive my car and is not a owner of the car in any way. The only reason he has his license is for work. My insurer added him to my policy after stating that "you did not verify so we added him anyway". Their website clearly states that he is classified as a "roommate" because we are not married and therefore he does not have to be insured on my policy, simply listed on it. They say that it is Oregon law but refused to provide me with such law. All they would say is that they cannot guarantee he will not drive my car so I have to insure him which does not seem right.

1 Lawyer Answer
Brad  Holbrook
Brad Holbrook PRO label
Answered
  • Newberg, OR
  • Licensed in Oregon

A: I understand your concern about being "forced" to add someone to your policy, especially when it's your own car and the other person DOES NOT drive your car. However, you can imagine the insurance company's concern that he still could have access to your keys and there is a possibility that he could drive your car. They certainly have the right to make their own rule as a requirement to contract with you, as you can decide to find an insurance company that will not force you to add them. You might want to see what they difference in price is--and if there is a possibility you might be able to sign a disclaimer or waiver that if you don't add the driver, you are aware of the risks of liability. Insurance companies will try to ensure all driving houehold members are covered by your insurance.

I know it may not seem right, however, you can check around to see if any insurance company might not require you put everyone on the policy. But, it protects you and protects the household in case something unfortuate occurs. As a side note, I often advise clients to ensure that their UIM coverage is a high as they can afford. It is relatively inexpensive compared to how much it could cost you if you don't have enough protection due to an uninsured or underinsured driver.

If you do fee that you are being treated unfairly or the insurance company is doing something in violation of public policy, you can file a complaint with the state's insurance commissioner. Best of luck in all your future endeavors.

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