Christopher Tidball

Christopher Tidball, Author

Christopher Tidball


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Chris Tidball is a recognized leader on insurance claims, having spent more than 20 years with leader insurers in adjusting, management and leadership roles. While he has testified on insurance related matters in federal and state court, and his training sessions have been approved by various states for CE credits, he is not a lawyer nor a medical provider. This forum is to provide basic claims information to answer commonly asked questions to help people navigate the claims process. If you need legal advice, please consult with an attorney. If you need medical treatment related to a claim, please consult with a medical provider.

Can my wife get sued if I am driving her car?

Dear Adjuster,

My wife was telling me that I shouldn’t drive her car anymore. We don’t have any tickets or accidents but she said that if I am driving and have an accident we both could get sued. That doesn’t make any sense?

Jacksonville, Florida


Dear Jacksonville,

Your wife is right In Florida, and some other jurisdictions, vicarious liability can apply to automobiles. If you are driving your wife’s car and cause an accident, you could be sued as the negligent driver and your wife could be sued as the owner. In my own situation, my car is solely in my name and my wife’s car is solely in her name. As for our children, as soon as they turned 18, their cars were placed solely in their name. If you have legal questions about this, you may want to consult with an attorney who can best share how to protect your assets.

Parked Car

Should I file a claim?

Dear Adjuster,

My daughter had a hit and run accident while her car was parked. The damage wasn’t excessive. Should I submit it to my insurance company or just pay to have it repaired? I don’t want my insurance rates to go up.

Shelly M.


Dear Shelly,

What a great question and one of the most commonly asked.   What you are describing is a not at fault accident, which should not impact your rates.   However, you may have a deductible to consider.  You should contact your agent, who will know your carrier better than anyone, and discuss the situation with them.




Merkley Marketing Group



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