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Bianchi v Automobile Club of Michigan; (COA-UNP, 3/1/1989; RB #1456)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 93830; Unpublished  
Judges Gillis, Holbrook, Jr., and S.N. Andrews; Unanimous; Per Curiam 
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  Not Applicable; Link to Opinion alt  

Not Applicable

Private Contract (Meaning and Intent)  
Uninsured Motorist Benefits: Uninsured Motorist Coverage in General 
Uninsured Motorist Benefits: Exclusions from Uninsured Motorist Benefits   

In this unanimous per curiam Opinion, the Court of Appeals affirmed summary disposition in favor of the plaintiff against Auto Owners in a case interpreting whether a motorcycle is a motor vehicle for purposes of the uninsured motorist coverage policy language. 

The Court of Appeals, in reliance upon the Westen (Item No. 1454) case, found the reasoning of that case highly persuasive and concluded that the omission of an explicit reference to motorcycles and the absence of a delineation of physical characteristics of a motor vehicle could have reinforced the insured's impression that a motorcycle lacks the status of a motor vehicle for purposes of the uninsured motorist coverage policy language. Reading this ambiguity in conjunction with the requirement that the insured be "occupying" the vehicle at the time of the accident the Court of Appeals held that confusion to the reader of the policy was sufficient to void the exclusion of coverage for bodily injuries sustained by an insured person while occupying a "motor vehicle," which is owned by the insured.  

This decision was subsequently reversed by the Supreme Court (Item No. 1435, above).  

[Author's Note: Item No. 1456 was inadvertently omitted from earlier summaries and is included here for completeness.]  

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