The Death of a Loved One: Importance of Checking Your Insurance Policy (Part 2)

posted on June 21, 2016 by Willingham & Cote

by Lee B. Reimann, Estate & Gifts, Divorce & Family Law, Insurance Law, John Yeager

Automobile Insurance Policies


This blog is a follow up to our initial article on homeowner's insurance and the death of a loved one, which can be found here.  


As with homes, for automobiles, the name on the title to the automobile should match the named insured in the policy. Being listed as a driver is not sufficiently good enough if the named insured has died. If the owner of an automobile is deceased and family members continue to drive the deceased’s auto, there may be no insurance applicable if no notice of death has been sent to the insurer. If family members drive the deceased’s auto without advising the agent promptly, coverage may not apply to an accident. 

A typical policy may require written notice to the insurer of death within 60 days to continue coverage. If notice is given, a personal representative may be able to get coverage for use of the decedent’s auto. A surviving spouse who is not a named insured may also get automatic coverage, but they should check to make sure that this coverage is available. Renewals without notice to the insurer may result in no coverage, even though premiums have been paid. 

The key take-away here is that upon the death of a loved one, the family should schedule a review of all insurance policies with their insurance agent. Among the many responsibilities of a trustee or personal representative of an estate, ensuring the proper handling of insurance policies of the deceased is critical. In addition to your trusted insurance agent, reviewing these items with an estate planning attorney is also strongly suggested.


The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject matter.  

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