In California can an Auto Insurance company issue a policy to a minor without a guardians/parents knowledge?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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In California can an Auto Insurance company issue a policy to a minor without a guardians/parents knowledge?

My stepson’s father was the r/o of a vehicle that my stepson was in procession of. The father was incarcerated and was unable to maintain the insurance policy on the vehicle. My stepson instead on advising my wife and I contacted an Auto Insurance company and had the policy moved from his fathers name in his name only. The insurance company realized at some point that my stepson was a minor and cancelled his policy in doing so creating a final balance on the policy of 59 dollars. Is my son responsible for the balance since the insurance didn’t exercise due diligence in attempting to verify his age and because a minor can not enter into a legal contract with the insurance company without it being co-signed by the guardian/parent?

Asked on September 29, 2016 under Insurance Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Legally, a contract entered into by a minor is void, since he or she lacked the legal capacity to contract, so your stepson is not liable for the $59.00. Practically, if the insurer won't see reason, it's better to pay the $59 than spend alot of time and effort fighting it, and running the risk of damaging your stepson's credit with a report that he did not pay a debt--even though that report would be wrong, it can be very difficult to remove incorrecte information from someone's credit history.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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