Adjuster Comments on What Truly Makes a Non-Permissive Use Case

by Faye Counts
(Maryland)

As an insurance adjuster, it amazes me how many people simply do not care who drives their vehicle until an accident occurs. After the fact, they then say something like “Well, I never said he could drive”. Yet, they never care that the driver drove the vehicle before. They didn’t mind that the vehicle was taken and probably would continue to not care except that the person that the driver of their vehicle hit is trying to make a damage or personal injury claim against their policy and their rates might go up.


A true non-permissive use case involves a driver who has absolutely no reason to believe that they were allowed to drive the vehicle that they were driving. A true non-permissive use case also involves a vehicle owner who is willing to press charges of theft against the person who was allegedly driving their vehicle without permission. The non-permissive use case is even stronger if the vehicle owner has called the police to report that their vehicle has been taken without their permission before it is involved in an accident. A theft report made days later in spite of the owner’s knowledge that the vehicle was taken and involved in an accident makes a very weak support for a non-permissive use claim.

Of course, the above does not apply to situations in which a rental car company may not have been aware that a person not listed on the rental contract was driving their vehicle when an accident occurred. It also would not apply to a situation in which an employer does not realize that the employee was driving a company vehicle outside the scope of their employment until after the accident occurs.

This article is approved for informational purposes and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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