What Your Rights Are as an Insured Driver?

If you own a car, you need to have an insurance policy that covers you and others in the event of an accident. The State of California requires you to have insurance on your vehicle; by purchasing this required insurance you also receive a variety of protections and benefits from your insurer.

What is a Named Insured?

When you buy an insurance policy in Redlands you are the named insured; this means that you are the owner of the policy. As the person who owns the policy you are responsible for making timely payments and verifying any changes to your coverage. If you buy insurance for your family and you pay for it, you are still the named insured on the policy and are the person responsible for changes and dialogues with the insurer.

While most named insured are the actual owners of the vehicle in question, you do not need to hold the title. You can share insurance benefits and coverage with your spouse and children if you have more than one driver in the family. Your spouse may also be a named insured on your policy; your kids are considered additional insured parties.

What Benefits and Responsibilities Does a Named Insured Have?

When you are the named insured, you can:

  • Authorize any changes needed to the policy
  • Make decisions and cash claim checks if you have incurred a covered loss.
  • Receive benefits and claim awards if your vehicle is damaged in a way that is covered by your policy. Since policies vary, the amount of coverage you have and the type of benefit you will receive will vary as well. 
  • Be notified if a claim is filed on your policy; if a child or spouse has an accident you’ll still need to deal with the insurance company and work through the details if you are the named insured. 
  • Accept or decline a settlement if it is offered; for best results consult an attorney before making a decision on any settlement you are offered. 

Drivers vs. Named Insured

Drivers are just that – people who are able to enjoy automobile insurance and drive legally. Drivers do benefit from the policy but are not permitted to make changes or accept claim payments without the approval of the named insured.

Can a Named Insured be Removed?

It is possible to remove the main person on the policy or a spouse, but that person must be notified so that they can make arrangements for coverage elsewhere. This situation occurs most often during a divorce, when the parties want to fully separate all aspects of their lives.

Insurance is designed to protect you in the event of an accident; ideally, you’ll be fairly compensated. If you have been in an accident and are having trouble with an insurer or the other party, an auto accident attorney can help. Contact Harshbarger Law today to get the assistance you need and to be sure you get the best possible outcome from your case.