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By Chuck Wells

Insurance companies look at everyone in your household before they will give you a car insurance policy. That’s right; even if they have their own insurance!

Let’s assume your two sons and Uncle Harry live with you. All three of them have their own car insurance policies. One of your sons had three accidents over the past three years (but of course, he is still a good boy and an excellent driver) and Uncle Harry had a DWI 2 years ago while driving home from bingo. You don’t have any tickets or accidents.

You may not be able to get preferred rates because of your son and Uncle Harry as your car insurance company is afraid they will borrow your car and have an accident. You get angry and say: “But that’s not fair!” Well, welcome to New York State.

In New York, anyone you give permission to drive your car is automatically covered under your car insurance. They do not have to be listed on your policy to get the coverage. Also, anyone living with you is presumed to have permission to drive your car and saying later, after they have a car accident, that they did not have permission or that they “stole” your car, will not cut it. Even if you had reported the car stolen before the accident, there may still be an assumed consent because they lived with you.

If our car insurance policies were set up to only cover those listed in the policy, insurance companies would not worry about other people in your household. In-the-meantime, be prepared to pay for others you live with.


Andrew Cameron of Cheltenham, England thought he was smart. He stole Jacqueline Boanson’s debit card to place a horse bet. The horse won and his winnings were $495. Only one problem. Winners have to show photo ID to collect. Since he could not do that, the winnings went into Boanson’s account. If he was smart enough to win the bet, why wasn’t he smart enough to know about the photo ID?


I was saddened to hear about the death of Bill Butler in a car accident in Australia. Bill sold me my first life insurance policy when I first moved here from Pennsylvania to take a teaching job at Wayne Central. Bill was one of the hardest working and most disciplined insurance agents I have ever met. He did not settle for second best at anything. He also really liked people and you knew that the minute you met him. He always had a humorous story to tell and that drew people to him. His wisdom and compassion touched so many people in ways he did not even realize himself. The world was a better place because of Bill and a lot of people will miss him.

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