COVID-19 Resource Center

July 27, 2008

ATVs Can Be Excluded From Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Yungwurth involves an individual injured while riding as a passenger on an ATV. At the time of the accident, the ATV was not being operated on a public road. The ATV was also not insured. The injured party made a claim for uninsured motorist coverage against his and his father’s private passenger motor vehicle policies. The uninsured motorist coverage provisions of the policies were identical and each excluded “any equipment or vehicle designed for use mainly off public roads except while on public roads.”

The Superior Court held that the definition of “motor vehicle” in Section 102 of the Motor Vehicle Code did not apply to ATVs. Therefore, the exclusions in the uninsured motorist coverage provisions of the policies were not contrary to the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. Instead, the more specific definition of “ATV” in the Snowmobile All-Terrain Vehicle Law applied. Consequently, the injured party was not entitled to uninsured motorist coverage for the accident at issue based upon the exclusions found in his and his father’s private passenger motor vehicle policies. 

What It Means to You

Based upon the Superior Court’s ruling, exclusion of ATVs from uninsured motorist coverage is not contrary to the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. However, because the court also held that the definition of “motor vehicle” in the vehicle code does not apply to ATVs, policy language must be specific to effectively exclude ATVs. Exclusions such as the “household vehicle exclusion” will likely not be specific enough to exclude underinsured motorist coverage for ATVs. The attorneys at Cipriani & Werner are ready and available to discuss any coverage or liability questions you may have.
 

Sources

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company v. Yungwurth, 940 A.2d 523 (Pa.Super. 2008)