Am I going to be held responsible?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 05/16/2008 - 18:46

My 87-year-old mother owns two cars..one in Florida and one in NH, because she spends time here and in Florida. My question is..my name is on the car insurance in Florida because I had to co-sign for her loan, and it is also on the New Hampshire car because that car is registered in my name, but the insurance is in her name...actually my name is on the auto insurance policy for both of these cars, along with hers. My question is that if she gets into an accident and is found to be at fault, will I also be held responsible....and if the accident should cause the death of someone else can I also be held responsible even though I was not driving the car?

Posted: 16 May 2008 08:44 Post Subject:

is found to be at fault, will I also be held responsible....and if the accident should cause the death of someone else can I also be held responsible even though I was not driving the car?

Possibly, first you need to check your (mom's) liability limits what is she carrying on PD (property damage) and BI (bodily injury) most state minimums aren't (IMO) even close to what they should be (IMO) I wouldn't be caught with less than 50k PD and 100/300k BI....also if you have well no other way to put this...a lot of money/assets, then you should have even higher limits, and perhaps consider an umbrella..

Now, the way to get out of all this, is simply, transfer ownership to mom on both of the cars...you can have her as the sole owner, and TOD to you (this is how we always did our childrens cars as well)...Some state hold the owner of the vehicle responsible as well as the driver...As to you being named a driver on her policy or visa/versa that shouldn't make any difference just because your names in on a policy. I've never heard of that causing anyone to be pulled into a suit...but owner, many many times, I've seen that.

Posted: 16 May 2008 09:12 Post Subject:

Some state hold the owner of the vehicle responsible as well as the driver


So, hope that means you may have reasons to be scared of your New Hampshire car if not the other one! In today's world everybody sh'd be careful about the time & place they are acting upon. Yes, own responsibilities would teach even our children to be more disciplined in life.
Thanks, Plasticmind

Posted: 17 May 2008 02:56 Post Subject:

and TOD to you...

Not sure if TOD stands for something our you were pointing at me as I adjusted claims in Florida (If I've not said it before and I don't think I have, my name is Todd) :)

At least in Florida, the owner of the vehicle is held responsible for the use of the vehicle. But your listed on your mothers policy for this vehicle so that policy should protect you on a primary bases. If you have another insurance policy that policy _may_ provide excess coverage, it just depends on it's "Other Insurance" wording.

But it's extremely rare that anyone would look to the owner or driver personally for payment and usually settle for what the insurance companies would pay. But I'd agree with Lori, the minimum in Florida is $10k property damage and $20k for bodily injury. You probably want to consider higher limits (at least double that) and it might not cost very much more.

Posted: 17 May 2008 06:18 Post Subject:

The car in NH is registered in my name simply because she has a Florida driver's license and unless she is willing to get a NH license then the car has to be registered to me...even though she paid for the car. I did check and she only has 25000/50000 BI and only 25000 PD, so I will look into increasing those amounts. The car in Florida is paid for by her and is also registered in her name, even though I co-signed for the vehicle. I have heard that if there is a death and the other driver is at fault then the family of the deceased person can sue the owner of the other vehicle, which is my great concern.

Posted: 17 May 2008 06:23 Post Subject:

The NH vehicle can be registered in NH even though your mother has a Florida license. It's done all the time.

Posted: 17 May 2008 06:29 Post Subject:

I did try to register it in her name here in the town where I live, and they refused to let me do it....just told me the car had to be registered to a NH driver...

Posted: 18 May 2008 11:22 Post Subject:

Not sure if TOD stands for something our you were pointing at me as I adjusted claims in Florida (If I've not said it before and I don't think I have, my name is Todd)

You silly boy, yes I knew your name was Todd, but by TOD I meant ''Transfer On Death"... :wink:

CC1230, I agree with tcope I think you've ran into a issue with the person in your town at the DMV, however we could be wrong, if I were you I'd contact (ck on line) your states DMV, and I'd send that title in to be transfer to Mom's name alone (then TOD to you)...think about it this way, if you sold the car can you only sell it to a NH resident? no....also glad you checked you need bump up those rates..

Also where tcope has worked maybe different, but I have seen cases where an owner has been brought into a suit, actually in every suit I've seen when they weren't the driver.....course as we know all attorneys name everyone in a suit, but in MO atleast this also holds true on uninsured vehicles the owner is just as liable as the driver for any damage sustained by their uninsured vehicle.

Posted: 25 May 2008 05:53 Post Subject: oh..

I am totally new to this situation, where as in our country we can have any number of cars per person

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