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

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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

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 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.


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