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Pennsylvania Car Accident Law: Are Children Covered Under a Parent's Car Insurance Policy?

It is a scenario that no parent wants to encounter: you get a call that your child was injured in a car accident. Surgery or physical therapy may be necessary and this means that medical bills can pile up.

You may have questions about whether or not your adult/minor child is entitled to insurance benefits under your car insurance policy. The short answer is that in Pennsylvania, members of the "household" are entitled to make claims for benefits under the household/parent's car insurance policy. Minor children are almost always covered under a parent's car policy.

In general, adult dependent children are often eligible for benefits as members of a household, and therefore would be able to make a claim for medical bills as well as UIM (underinsured) or UM (uninsured) benefits. Read more about UIM and UM benefits in Pennsylvania car accident cases. However, each car insurance policy varies in terms of how a "household" is defined.

Generally, there are three situations in which a child may need to make a claim for benefits under a parent's car insurance policy:

  1. a child is driving the parent's vehicle,
  2. a child is a passenger in another person's vehicle or
  3. a child is a pedestrian and gets hit by a vehicle.

Making a Claim for Medical Benefits Under a Parent's Car Insurance Policy

In each of the above scenarios, the child will probably be able to make a claim for medical benefits under a parent's car insurance policy. This type of claim is commonly known as a claim for PIP (personal injury protection) benefits. Under Pennsylvania law, car insurance carriers must provide at least $5,000.00 of medical benefits coverage to a named insured and members of the insured's household.

Many people purchase larger amounts of medical coverage, some as high as $100,000 or more. Again, adult children who are dependent on the parent for support are likely to qualify as a member of the household and would be allowed to make a claim for medical benefits under the car insurance policy, up to the limit of the policy.

Medical benefits claims can be made without regard to fault. So, even if a child causes a car accident or is at fault, the child could still make a claim for medical benefits under the parent's car insurance policy.

Making a UIM/UM Claim Under a Parent's Car Insurance Policy

In situations where a child is injured in a car accident that is due to the negligence of another party, who is uninsured or does not have enough insurance, the child may be able to make a claim for UIM/UM benefits under the parent's car insurance policy.

Related Philadelphia, PA Car Accident Articles

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyers

If your child was injured in a car accident, feel free to speak to our experienced Philadelphia car and bus accident lawyers to discuss your child's accident and legal rights. Call 877.944.8396 for a free consultation.

**DISCLAIMER: This website does not provide any legal advice or create any attorney-client relationship. Each case is unique and requires review by a qualified attorney. Discussion of prior outcomes or results is no guarantee of the same or similar outcomes in current or future cases.

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