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How Insurance Companies Deal with Intentional Acts vs. Illegal Acts

What is an intentional act?

An intentional act is when someone “consciously desires” the probable result of an action they commit. A person who acts intentionally is “substantially certain” that their actions will result in the desired outcome.

In liability law, when an intentional act is potentially illegal, they’re also referred to as intentional torts. A tort is a wrongful act or infringement of a right (outside of contract) that leads to a civil legal liability. In other words, a tort is when someone illegally infringes on another person’s civil liberties.

How do insurance companies treat intentional car accidents?

No matter what type of insurance you have, your policy will have a clause that excludes coverage for intentional and fraudulent acts.

Sometimes, it’s down to the court to decide if your act was intentional or not. When a court deems that an act committed by an insured is intentional, insurance coverage is denied.

Intentional Acts are Not Paid by Insurance

If you set your car on fire, don’t expect the insurance company to pay for it! That’s fraud.

In Wilshire Law Firm’s over 10 years of practice, in which we’ve recovered over $250 million in damages for our clients, we’ve seen many intentional acts lead to car accidents.

People intentionally hit another car, pedestrian, or biker with their car, because of:

  • Vendetta
  • Road rage
  • Many other reasons

If you or someone you know was the victim of an intentional act motor vehicle accident or any other type of intentional act that caused harm or damage to your body or personal property, you could be entitled to compensation.

However, if you do not have uninsured motorist insurance, you could be looking at an uphill battle in recovering damages for your losses.

Whatever your situation, call the legal experts of Wilshire Law Firm today for a FREE case evaluation. Our team can be reached 24/7 at 1-800-522-7274.

Don’t delay, call Wilshire Law Firm today!

It may be the best call you ever make.

What’s the difference between an intentional act and an illegal act?

Liability coverage excludes intentional acts, but what if you caused damage to someone else while you were doing something illegal?

Interestingly, insurance law states that, even though you were acting in an illegal manner, you weren’t acting “intentionally” to commit a tort against another person or party.

Take driving under the influence, for example.

If you’re driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, obviously, you’re acting in an illegal manner, and you should stop driving immediately.

However, if you cause an accident that leads to bodily damage and/or property damage, your insurance company will, most likely, pay for the claim.


If you light your car on fire, that counts as an intentional act, but if you get into an accident while driving under the influence, you didn’t, technically, intentional act.

Hence the term “involuntary” manslaughter.

Remember, an intentional act is when someone “consciously desires” the probable result of an action they commit.

Instead of filming, you should call the police if you see a drunk driver on the road!

This doesn’t mean drunk driving accident culprits aren’t at fault for wrongful deaths they cause with their egregious mistakes.

The insurance company will pay up to the policy limits, for damages. As far as committing a crime is concerned, DUI wrongdoers are on their own!

If you kill someone while driving drunk, you will most likely be charged with involuntary manslaughter, and no insurance company will help you.

Also, you can be sure to expect insurance rates to go through the roof for the rest of your driving days; plus, ginormous fines and lawyer fees.

So good luck with that!

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