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Who is Insured?

Attorney William J. Waltenberger

To determine who is covered as an “insured person” under your auto insurance contract you should begin by looking at the contract language.  In every insurance contract there is a section titled “Definitions.”  This section, as you would expect, will define important terms as they are used within the insurance contract.  One of the most important terms is who qualifies as an “insured person” as defined by the insurance contract.

One insurance contract I recently reviewed defined an “insured person” as follows:

    1.  You or a relative for the ownership, maintenance or use of your insured car.
    2. Any person while using your insured car with your permission or that of any adult member of your household.
    3. You or a relative while using a car or utility trailer other than your insured car with a reasonable belief of having permission to do so.

 

The insurance contract defined a “relative” as:

    A person living in your household and related to you by blood, marriage or adoption, including a ward or foster child.

It is important to note that if you own multiple vehicles you must pay a premium for each vehicle, and each vehicle must be listed as a covered vehicle under your insurance contract.  In other words, you cannot simply pay one premium on one vehicle and think it is going to cover every vehicle you own.  If you are operating an owned vehicle that is not covered under your policy you are not an “insured person” while operating that vehicle.

Oftentimes people wonder if they need to purchase the extra insurance that is offered when renting a vehicle.   The answer depends on what type of coverage you have on your own vehicle.  If you have coverage on your own personal vehicle you are an “insured person” while operating the rental vehicle and do not need to purchase the additional coverage.  If you do not have collision coverage on your own vehicle, you will need to purchase a “damage waiver” from the rental carrier.

The bottom line is, if you have your own vehicle insurance, you will be covered while operating your own vehicle or any other person’s vehicle as long as you have that owner’s permission to use the vehicle.  If you are a passenger in another’s vehicle, and if that person does not have insurance you are still covered under your own policy.  The same can be said of any member of your household who meets the definition of “relative.”  Therefore, it is vital you maintain your own vehicle insurance to ensure you are an “insured person” regardless of circumstances.

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to the negligence or fault of another person, call Gruber Law Offices, LLC today for your free consultation. There is no fee unless we win and we can meet you at a place that is convenient for you such as your place of work, hospital, home, or our conveniently located downtown Milwaukee office.

Speak with one of our lawyers right now by calling 805-855-9069 for a free initial consultation. “ONE CALL… THAT’S ALL!”