The “Intentional Act” Exception to Insurance.
Occasionally, I come across a situation where someone is injured as a result of an intentional act such as an assault. Other situations arise where someone was injured in a “road-rage” incident. An injury can even occur as a result of someone who intentionally strikes someone with their car. In these situations there is a concern whether there will be any insurance coverage for the incident. The answer depends on the type of coverage and if you are the injured victim or the actor.
Liability Coverage: Every auto insurance policy provides for liability coverage which provides coverage when that person causes a car accident which results in injury or damage. However, almost every liability policy will have an exception for “intentional acts of the insured.” For example, if you have just had an argument with your friend and get into your vehicle to leave, you cannot intentionally run-over them with your car. Not only is this a potential crime but there is a risk that your insurance company will deny coverage for injuries you caused because of your "intentional acts." In this situation you will not have the benefit of your insurance company trying to resolve the claim or paying any judgment against you. You will also be left exposed to a claim by the injured party without your insurance company providing you an attorney and a defense.
Other Coverages: If you are the victim of an intentional act, then you will still have coverage under your own policy, such as Personal Injury Protection (PIP) and Uninsured/Under-Insured motorist coverage (UM/UIM). PIP is sometimes referred to as "No-fault insurance" because coverage applies regardless of who is at fault. UM/UIM applies when the at-fault party is does not have insurance, is not covered by insurance, or when the liability policy does not provide enough coverage for the damages and injuries.
For example, if someone intentionally hits you with their car and you have bodily injuries, you can make a liability claim under the other driver’s policy . However, after investigation their insurance will likely deny coverage because the driver acted intentionally to harm you. Once their insurance company denies coverage that driver now becomes an “uninsured motorist.” You may then proceed to seek compensation under the UM portion of your own policy.
This also applies for PIP coverage. Since you were injured due to an automobile collision, you can file a claim under your PIP coverage. You would not be excluded from coverage since you did not commit the itnentional act.
This is the takeaway: If you are the one who intentionally injured another, then you will likely not have coverage from your insurance company. If you are the injured party then the only insurance coverage that may apply is your own.
If you’ve been involved in an accident in Georgia involving a distracted driver or a driver on their cell phone, call me or fill out my form for a free consultation. I can help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries and damages. By calling (404) 610-4429, you will ensure you will receive proper representation against by the at-fault driver and the insurance companies.