Do I have to call back?
August 14, 2009 5:09 AM   Subscribe

I found out new information about someone on my auto insurance. To avoid compromising a potential future claim, do I need to inform my insurance company?

In the last month, I put someone else on my auto insurance (Geico) as a regular driver. The usual questions came up: have they been in any accidents, had any moving violations, and so on. I said I wasn't aware of any. Turns out that there have been. Do I need to let Geico know about this?

My concern is that if we had to make a major claim, failure to disclose this history might constitute grounds for Geico to refuse to pay out. Could that happen?
posted by anonymous to Travel & Transportation (3 answers total)
Yes, what you describe could indeed happen. You signed that the forms were true to the best of your knowledge, and you'd have a challenging time proving that you gained your new knowledge just weeks afterwards — even though it's true.

Call Geico, alert them to the new information, and your rate will be adjusted... But hopefully not by too much.

A fifteen minute call could save you fifteen years or more of financial headaches.
posted by lexfri at 6:23 AM on August 14, 2009

It just so happens that my girlfriend has special knowledge of this. I showed her the AskMe question and she had this to say:

Failure to disclose that information won't stop Geico from paying out on a claim - if they are on the policy, or if they had permission to use the vehicle, it doesn't matter what their driving history is. I've seen policyholders' 13 yr old children take the car out for a joyride without permission and crash into fences, walls, other cars and they still pay out. However, Geico will find out about the driver's past at some point. Geico, as well as other insurance companies, runs MVR reports somewhat periodically. These reports are histories of the drivers. They show accidents reported, accidents not reported but police reports were taken, as well as tickets, suspended licenses and things. When they find out, Geico has every right to jack up the rates because it is a larger risk for them to insure that person. It's somewhat doubtful they would kick that person, or you, off the insurance, but come renewal, the rates could definitely go up.

She suggests that don't tell them since it wouldn't affect payout of a claim. When they find out, your rates will go up, but who knows when they will run the report?
posted by Jinkeez at 6:26 AM on August 14, 2009

I used to work for Geico, and from my experience, the underwriting department most likely ran the MVR (motor vehicle report/driving history) on the new driver when you added them as a driver to the policy, providing you gave them the person's driver's license number. If they are allowed by you to drive, but are not the PRIMARY driver of any of the cars, and they don't have anything extremely serious like a DUI or reckless driving tickets, or serious accidents, then it's probably not going to affect your rates. If they did have any of those things, Geico would want to charge premiums to cover the risk of what they might do in your car. If they ran a stop light or two, or had one accident, you're probably fine.
posted by scarykarrey at 8:21 AM on August 14, 2009

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