If I am responsible for an accident and it hasn’t been settled yet, and I die….does the insurance still cover the liability if the premiums stop?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Apr 6, 2013

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Insurance Question from New Rochelle, NY

Asked on 04/06/2013

If I am responsible for an accident and it hasn’t been settled yet, and I die….does the insurance still cover the liability if the premiums stop? Auto accident. My father's responsible. Not yet settled. He died last week. Can we stop the insurance payments without his liability coverage for the accident (last year) lapsing? Is his estate responsible if the claim is more than his coverage?

Answer given on April 09, 2013

If you have insurance in place at the time of an accident, and the insurance lapses or expires later, you are still covered for the accident.If the car is still owned by your father’s estate or by you, you should keep the insurance in force. You can cancel it once the car is sold. This is recommended since the car could still be driven so insurance should remain in force. If the car is a total loss, you can cancel the insurance effective the day after the accident. Make sure the insurance company has deemed it a total loss before you cancel. You can backdate the cancellation, so you don’t have to do this immediately.Contact the insurance agent or company to advise them that you are now the contact for the settlement of the claim. If your father died as a result of the accident, you should advise them of this fact as it will affect the settlement process.

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