Limitation on the scope of use
The question of whether an individual is a permissive user under the standard automobile liability policy can be difficult to answer. In some cases the facts will establish that express permission has been given by the vehicle owner. Once it has been determined that express permission has been given, the next question which must be resolved is whether there is any limitation on the scope of use that was The following questions may be used in this investigation:
Permissive use of an automobile typically cannot be implied when an express restriction has been placed on the scope of permission
Were there any circumstances which led to the named insured or family member's needing assistance in the use of the vehicle, i.e., intoxication with a designated driver? Permissive use of an automobile typically cannot be implied when an express restriction has been placed on the scope of permission which prohibits the use at issue. See, e.g., Briles v. Wausau Ins. Cos., 858 N.E.2d 208 (Ind. App. 2006)
Relationship between the parties
1. What was the relationship between the parties? 2. What was the nature and extent of any prior use of the vehicle from which implied permission might arise (scope, duration, time, distance)? 3. If express permission had been given in the past, was that express permission interrupted by a withdrawal of permission for future use or future limitations on further use? It is important to establish if usage has changed over time in order to determine scope of implied permission.
4. Were others allowed to use the vehicle without asking for specific permission? 5. In the past, was express permission required before using the vehicle? 6. Did past usage of the vehicle require the named insured or a family member to be present in the vehicle at the time of use?