If you are found to be at fault for a Maryland car accident and your family members were in the car with you, you may wonder whether your family members’ injuries are covered under your insurance policy. Some insurance policies contain language, called exclusions, stating that the policy does not provide coverage to an insured or to the family member of an insured or to any family member of the insured residing in the insured’s household. Such provisions are written to prohibit coverage or to reduce coverage to those persons. The law on this issue varies depending on the state where the policy was issued. Some states prohibit household exclusions because many drivers and passengers are not covered if the family member is found responsible.
In a recent state appellate decision, one state’s supreme court considered the lawfulness of such provisions under state law. In that case, a man was injured in an accident while a passenger in a car covered by a policy the man and his wife had purchased from an insurance company. The man submitted a claim under the policy, but the insurance company refused to pay the man’s claim based on a partial household exclusion clause in the auto policy.
The court found that under that state’s law, partial household exclusion clauses were not valid. The state’s supreme court held that an auto policy in any coverage amount is not permitted to exclude or reduce liability coverage under household exclusion provisions “solely on the ground the claimant is a named insured or resident in the named insured’s household.”
Maryland Courts on Household Exclusion Policies
Maryland courts have held that exclusions to a household that deny all coverage to the insured and the insured’s household members violate public policy, because, under Maryland law, Maryland drivers must maintain insurance policies with at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident in coverage. Yet, household exclusion provisions are permitted if the policy provides more than the minimum coverage, and the insurer must provide coverage only up to $30,000/$60,000 for injuries to the insured and the insured’s household members.
The validity of the household exclusion provision differs for policies issued in other states. If an insurance policy covering the driver was issued, sold, and delivered in another state and the vehicle was registered in another state, Maryland’s insurance requirement does not apply. Thus, in that case, if an out-of-state family member files a lawsuit against the insured in Maryland, the household exclusion would be valid.
Have You Been Injured in a Maryland Car Accident?
If you have been injured in a Maryland car accident, you may be able to recover financial compensation by filing a personal injury claim against the responsible party. The lawyers at Lebowitz & Mzhen, Personal Injury Lawyers, represent individuals in a wide range of personal injury claims throughout Maryland, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C. area. Our main objective is to obtain full compensation for individuals who have sustained serious injuries. Our attorneys will review your options with you to determine the best course of action in your case. Call us at 800-654-1949 to schedule a free consultation today.