Excluded driver took keys and totaled my car

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Excluded driver took keys and totaled my car

I live in California. I excluded my wife because she has a suspended license,
from my Geico Car Insurance…. She found my keys while I was at work and totaled
my car. No one got hurt – I have not even made my first payment Insurance co
says they cannot do anything…. What can I do ?
Excluded driver took keys and totaled my car

Asked on November 1, 2017 under Insurance Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You probably can't do anything. She may  be an excluded driver, but there really was nothing stopping her from taking your car--the keys were obviously somewhere accessible to her. When you exclude a driver, you have to take steps to make sure they *can't* take your car, and it's difficult to see how you could do that with a spouse living with you; and furthermore, you'd have to convince the authorities and your insurer that she actually stole your car to possibly show that she did not have any permission or authority, even implicit, to take the vehicle--and even if you were willing to press theft charges against your wife, it's difficult to see how, under your living & domestic arrangements, you could convince the authorities that this was theft. But only if an excluded driver does steal you car--because that's what taking it without permission is: stealing--could you get around the coverage exclusion. 

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