We understand you need the use of your vehicle, it’s an important element of everyday life. What can we do to help when a driver in the house has had too many tickets or an accident? Regulations and guidelines dictate that a driver with too many “Insurance Risk Points” due to driving convictions or at fault accidents is no longer insurable by the company, but we’re about finding solutions for your auto insurance. We know you need options that will work for you.
What if we could offer an alternative?
It’s unfortunate that we are restricted in offering auto insurance to a driver with a poor driving record. What if we could still make your insured vehicles available to all other drivers in the household, excluding only the driver with a poor record. That would still get others to work, school or wherever else you needed to go. The driver excluded would have to become a passenger only while we wait for their driving record to clear. Would that help?
We hope you can understand why the insurance company can no longer offer insurance to this driver. Their driving habits reflect that they have made some poor decisions when driving, choices that have put him or her and the insurance company in a predicament. To protect your rates and allow us to continue offering auto insurance we need to exclude this person at this time.
How do you exclude a driver?
We have a standard form, an OPCF 28A, let’s just call it an Excluded Driver Form which we need the owner of the vehicle and the excluded driver to sign. It acknowledges that we’ve discussed the exclusion, the reason why and the limitations under your policy should the excluded driver operate any of the insured vehicles while they are excluded from your policy. Basically, they can’t drive any of the vehicles we insure and should they violate this condition your policy would not offer the full coverage and protection it’s intended to, so we need to agree on the basis that this won’t happen.
How long does the exclusion last?
This won’t last forever, we know by the dates of the convictions or accidents how long they will remain part of the driving record and impact your automobile insurance. Minor tickets are considered for a period of three years, while an at fault accident remains for six. We will remove this restriction and delete the requirement for an excluded driver once the appropriate time has passed and the driving record becomes acceptable once again. It’s a hard lesson, but nonetheless, it’s one that happens. Hopefully, the driver realizes the consequences of their driving choices and it leads to improved and safer driving habits for everyone sharing the road.
It’s not fair
It’s not easy to appreciate when this happens to you, or a driver in your family. Think of it from this perspective, what if a local driver who disobeyed traffic laws or had been responsible for auto accidents (perhaps even causing injury to others) was allowed to continue along in the same pattern. Would you want to share the roads with them? Would you want your children driving the same streets? Of course not, why would you want to be exposed to the possible dangers this driver presents.
All drivers need to be treated fairly by an insurance company, Erie Mutual and similar insurers follow guidelines and regulations for that reason. When a driver is no longer an acceptable risk, it’s necessary to take them off the road and prohibit their use of an automobile. If we don’t, then we are accepting the moral and financial responsibility of allowing them to continue and the consequences that may result, including damage to the vehicle, property damage or severe injury.
Insurers want to insure safe drivers, we know accidents happen and we’ve got you covered when they do. But when you’ve had too many incidents that reflect poor driving skills or bad habits we can’t continue to offer insurance, it’s too great a risk. There are auto insurance markets available for drivers with blemishes, they can drive but should expect to pay substantially increased rates and premiums that are reflective of their driving record. Life lessons are never easy, they’re meant to alter or change behavior, or at the very least, to learn something from them.
Article Written by Darcy Johnson
Erie Mutual Insurance Manager – Sales, Marketing & Business Development
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