State Farm Still Uses the Regular Use Exception to Deny Coverage

I first wrote on State Farm’s abuse of the "available for regular use" exclusion in its Washington Auto Insurance policies 4 years ago. The abuse continues. Recently I have received calls from several lawyers requesting the materials I have from my last encounter with this tactic.

A little background. Every automobile insurance policy has language in it that excludes coverage if the insured is riding in a car owned by or available for the regular use of an insured and not included in the insured’s policy. This clause is designed to prevent those of you with multiple cars from buying insurance on one car and slopping it over to other cars you own, or to a work vehicle you drive every day. The idea is that you should insure those vehicles that are regularly available for your use.

In the State of Washington State Farm began using this exclusion very aggressively against personal injury victims approximately 5 years ago. I have encountered its use with minor children visiting a non-custodial parent, an adult child driving a parent to medical appointments, college roommates carpooling to school, ride share arrangements, school and public transportation buses and borrowed cars.

The most cynical attempt to apply it is a case where by all accounts the driver and passenger were simply friends. Both teens they rode around together. State Farm questioned the insured about details of the number of times the young man rode with athe friend, the purpose of the trips, whether or not they drove to work together and other details obviously designed to find evidence to deny the claim. To my surprise State Farm has now issued a "reservation of rights" based on the frequency of use of the subject vehicle.

If you have State Farm Auto Insurance and you are hurt while occupying a car you don’t own, you might want to consult a qualified personal injury attorney before you talk to your own insurance company.

View Attorney Profile

AWARDS

AV Preeminent

RECENT POSTS

  • Was the Injured Pedestrian in the Crosswalk or Not?
    Posted on October 18, 2013
    Topic: Automobile Accidents

    Recent studies have tried to explain out why so many pedestrians are run down in cross walks by turning vehicles. Trucks are particularly notorious for doing this due to their many blind spots. A recent newspaper article brought to mind my experiences with what I refer to as "the pedestrian as an immovable object" problem. ... Read more

  • Children’s Booster Seats and the Lack of Safety Rules
    Posted on August 27, 2013
    Topic: Products Liability

    When it comes to your child’s safety in your car you don’t care what you have to spend, you will buy the best booster seat you can find. You might find assurance in the manufacturer’s claim that the seat meets or exceeds all federal government standards for child safety seats. If you think that means ... Read more

  • Insurers Dust off Old Tricks to Avoid Responsibility- Be Afraid
    Posted on August 27, 2013
    Topic: Personal Injury

    Imagine a nightmare scenario. Your car is demolished due to the violation of numerous driver safety rules by an insured motorist. The motorist admits she left her glasses at home and can barely see. She tells the officer she does not know if the light was green or not, she couldn’t see it. You contact ... Read more

William Delmar Robison

Licensed since 1983

Member at firm Caron Colven Robison & Shafton P.S.

AWARDS

AV Preeminent

RECENT POSTS

  • Was the Injured Pedestrian in the Crosswalk or Not?
    Posted on October 18, 2013
    Topic: Automobile Accidents

    Recent studies have tried to explain out why so many pedestrians are run down in cross walks by turning vehicles. Trucks are particularly notorious for doing this due to their many blind spots. A recent newspaper article brought to mind my experiences with what I refer to as "the pedestrian as an immovable object" problem. ... Read more

  • Children’s Booster Seats and the Lack of Safety Rules
    Posted on August 27, 2013
    Topic: Products Liability

    When it comes to your child’s safety in your car you don’t care what you have to spend, you will buy the best booster seat you can find. You might find assurance in the manufacturer’s claim that the seat meets or exceeds all federal government standards for child safety seats. If you think that means ... Read more

  • Insurers Dust off Old Tricks to Avoid Responsibility- Be Afraid
    Posted on August 27, 2013
    Topic: Personal Injury

    Imagine a nightmare scenario. Your car is demolished due to the violation of numerous driver safety rules by an insured motorist. The motorist admits she left her glasses at home and can barely see. She tells the officer she does not know if the light was green or not, she couldn’t see it. You contact ... Read more