I bought a car as an "or" title with someone. She signed it over to herself without telling me while I paid the insurance. So I think there are damages there.

Additionally, which is what I am asking about, she got in an accident that doubled the premiums in all my policies. Is this also damages? Can I sue her for frauding the insurance as well as (apparently deliberately or carelessly) causing my premium to increase?


Is it damages to cause someone's premiums to increase?

Yes. That increase of premiums reflects that the insurer now considers the insured less reliable (i.e., riskier exposure). Such lowering of the insured's reputation as a result of other's fault is actionable, at least on equitable grounds.

Can I sue her for frauding the insurance as well as (apparently deliberately or carelessly) causing my premium to increase?

You could sue only for the latter.

It is unclear what you mean by "[de]frauding the insurance", but only the insurer would have standing to sue her for any claims sounding in insurance fraud. At first glance, her act of signing the title over to herself (thereby excluding you) ordinarily seems irrelevant from an insurance standpoint.

You would need to check whether the insurance policy imposes on the insured the condition that the name of the insured and the name of the policyholder be the same. If that is the case, you as policyholder would be responsible for the discrepancy, since you are the one who made to the insurer any and all representations at the time of screening your profile and signing the policy.

In the event of insurance fraud caused by either you or her, it is likelier that the insurer would sue you, in which case you would need to either file what is known as third-party complaint or file a motion to add her as co-defendant in the insurer's complaint. Identifying which alternative is better will depend on the particulars of the case.

  • But if she lies and says I own the car I am insuring isn't that damages? Same as if I invest in a company and another party secretly dilutes my stake?
    – user29311
    Jan 10 '20 at 0:54
  • @user29311 "if she lies and says I own the car I am insuring isn't that damages?" You may claim damages such as the increase of insurance premium, a detriment to the value of the vehicle as a result of the accident, and any provable losses arising from not being able the vehicle when you needed it (i.e., deprivation of your property), but the misrepresentation in and of itself is not what causes damages and in general is not actionable. Or at least the information you provide has no indication of why the misrepresentation itself is actionable. Jan 10 '20 at 9:20
  • If I knew I didn't own the car I wouldn't pay the insurance. Therefore aren't any insurance payments resulting from the misrepresentation damages?
    – user29311
    Jan 10 '20 at 13:00
  • @user29311 "aren't any insurance payments resulting from the misrepresentation damages?" Not with the information you have provided so far. From what you describe and based on the purpose & business of insurance, it appears that the insurer increased the premium as a result of the accident, not of the misrepresentation(s) as to who owns the car. To reach a different conclusion, you will need to identify specific language in the policy to the effect of denying coverage or penalizing the insured for that type of misrepresentations. Jan 10 '20 at 14:57


Similar case- the lawyers say that the lie discredits the defendant (although they don't say whether that specifically is a damage)

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