Posted on Dec 21, 2012
In DiSomma v. Mut. Benefit Ins. Co., 86 Lancaster L. R. 550 (2011) a dispute arose over a business auto policy and exclusion. This case involves a car accident where the owner of a pizza business was involved in a car accident with a third party. He was operating a personally owned and separately insured Vespa scooter which was insured with underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage of $15,000. After receiving the full UIM coverage from Progressive he made a claim for UIM benefits on the business auto policy for a company that he owned. That policy had UIM coverage but an exclusion for injuries sustained while operating an auto owned by that person or a family member. Therefore, the UIM carrier denied UIM coverage based upon the exclusion.
The insured argued that the exclusion in the business auto policy endorsement was ambiguous. The trial court reviews the language of the exclusion and finds that the exclusion may not be grammatically perfect but was not ambiguous. Therefore, the insured could not collect underinsured motorist benefits from his business auto policy endorsement for fatal injuries sustained while operating a separately insured vehicle.
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