What Is an Undisclosed Driver

An undisclosed driver is a person other than the driver specified on the policy who also has access to and drives the automobile listed on the policy. Whether this is just a one off – such as borrowing the car to run down to the store – or is a regular occurrence, the outcome is often the same. If you have allowed a party other than the named insureds to drive a car, then you could lose your insurance should they become involved in an accident or issued a moving violation.

Undisclosed drivers have become such a large source of claims, that insurance companies are no longer taking risks. When filling out an application for an automobile insurance policy, you may have noticed that they are now asking for the names of all persons 15 and older within the household. This is especially important to consider when you have a newly licensed teenage driver within the household. By not putting that teen on the insurance policy, you may be keeping your rate down, but you are exposing yourself to a very unpleasant time with your insurance company. They will either readjust your premiums to reflect the additional driver, or they may tell you to take your business elsewhere.

In the event that the undisclosed driver comes to their attention as the result of an accident, you may also be informed that your insurance company will not cover any claims. This leaves you liable for the entire amount of property damage and medical claims to all parties. In fact, Florida statutes governing insurance rates and contract specifically allow insurance companies to prevent the insured from recovery if the misrepresentation, omission, concealment, or incorrect statement is fraudulent, or would materially affected the issuance of the policy. Essentially, an undisclosed driver is an act of fraud that could have altered the issuance of the policy had the additional risk been disclosed.

In a state such as Florida with 30 million people, and millions of cars on the road it bears thinking about. Let’s break down some of the most recent statistics for automobile accidents in the state of Florida. The 2015 numbers should scare anybody. In that year there were almost 375,000 traffic crashes, resulting in 2939 fatalities. The injury crashes nearly 160,000 with almost 243,000 injuries. Alcohol was involved in 16,400 crashes of which 828 were fatal.

It’s often said that insurance isn’t about how good a driver you are, it’s about how bad a driver the other guy is. So when you take this to the logical conclusion, you are not insuring yourself as a good driver who will never have an accident, your insuring yourself against the other guy. When you introduce an undisclosed driver to the mix, your withholding information that your insurance company needs to use in order to determine the level of risk for your policy. Come clean with your insurance agent about everyone who may possibly be allowed to drive your car, whether it’s just a one-time thing or not. Your independent insurance agent can help you to craft a policy that keeps you covered bumper to bumper, no matter who is behind the wheel.