When you have a member of your family that you wish to exclude from your no-fault car insurance policy, you are excluding them for a reason, possibly paying higher insurance rates to do so. Sometimes the reason is they have their own insurance, and sometimes you are excluding them because they have proven themselves irresponsible and you are protecting yourself.
The joyriding exception was created by the state of Michigan’s Supreme Court in order to establish laws surrounding coverage for accident victims affected by the no-fault laws in the state of Michigan. Under normal circumstances, no one who has stolen a vehicle or used a vehicle without express permission would be eligible for benefits in case of an accident.
With the joyriding exception, any family member who had reasonable belief that they would be granted permission to drive the vehicle were to be covered under the car insurance policy on that vehicle. This is regardless of whether or not they were given express permission to drive the car.
If your irresponsible son grabs the keys one night while you are sleeping and goes joyriding, there is a possibility that your car insurance company may deny any claims should he get into an accident.
However, there are currently two cases in the state of Michigan that insurance companies originally denied the claims of injured parties. These two cases are being appealed and the judgment may very well decide against the insurance company by using the joyriding exception. Both cases involve driving while intoxicated and both drivers did not have the car owner’s permission to use the vehicle.
In one case the driver was excluded from the policy, and in the other case the driver was given permission by a third party and not from the car owner.
Both cases may cause the car owner to see a raise in their insurance rates that would cost them more in the end.