COVID-19 Resource Center

May 27, 2008

Regularly Used Non-Owned Vehicle UIM Exclusion Upheld

In Brink, the insured police officer brought an action against his personal automobile insurer to recover underinsured motorist benefits for injuries sustained while the officer was driving a police vehicle. The trial Court, granted insurer's motion for judgment on the pleadings. The Superior Court held that the officer “regularly used” the police car within the meaning of regular use exclusion and upheld that exclusion as valid. The Court's decision was based on the clear and unambiguous language of the exclusion which precluded consideration of the insured’s expectations. The Brink Court held that an actual regular use of any particular vehicle in a fleet is not required for application of the exclusion; but rather, arises if an employee regularly uses a fleet vehicle if he regularly or habitually has access to vehicles in that fleet. 

What It Means to You

The Superior Court's decision is further proof that clear and unambiguous policy terms are invaluable, especially in the context of enforcing exclusions. The Court’s broad application of this exclusion may be subject to further litigation. Nonetheless, the ruling creates favorable case for insurers attempting to enforce the regular use of non-owned vehicle exclusion. The attorneys at Cipriani & Werner are available to address any questions you may have concerning this decision.
 

Sources

Brink v. Erie Insurance Group