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Federal Judge Blocks Appeal Nixing Household Vehicle Exclusions

appeal denied household exclusionAllstate Fire & Casualty Insurance will need to wait to appeal a federal judge’s decision’s after an interpretation of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s 2019 ruling in Gallagher v. Geico invalidated the household vehicle exclusion in most motor vehicle policies.

There are several class actions against insurance companies claiming the improper use of household exclusions in an attempt to bar stacking uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits since 1990. This includes the Stockdale v. Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance case.

Wendy Beetlestone, the U.S. District of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, has denied Allstate’s request to appeal the Feb 27th ruling. A motion for summary judgment was granted only to the plaintiff.

In another decision on April 8th, the federal judge informed the insurance company that the case will need to go through the class certification phase before an appeal can even be considered.

Allstate is arguing against this notion. The plaintiff in the case initially was looking to stack underinsured motorist insurance (UIM) coverage under the parent’s Allstate policy.

The insurer denied the claim, referring to the household vehicle exclusion in the policy, that informs those insured that no UIM coverage is available to anyone injured in an accident that was not directly covered by the policy.  

Beetlestone believes that whether Allstate appeals the court’s denial of summary judgement before or after the class is certified, all claims against the insurer involve the issue of Gallagher’s scope.