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St. Bernard v Detroit Automobile Inter-Insurance Exchange; (COA-PUB, 4/30/1984; RB #1489)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket Nos. 62732 and 63683; Published  
Judges Kelly, Hood, and Shepherd; Unanimous; Opinion by Judge Shepherd  
Official Michigan Reporter Citation:  134 Mich App 178; Link to Opinion alt   

Not Applicable

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

This decision deals with the legal concepts of "underinsured" and "uninsured" coverage and held that after the passage of the Michigan No-Fault Act, an out-of-state motor vehicle having bodily injury liability coverage less than the coverage required under Michigan law was not an uninsured motor vehicle within the meaning of the uninsured motorist coverage that defined an uninsured motor vehicle as a vehicle having no bodily injury liability insurance coverage.   

This decision overrules the pre-no-fault case of Santillanes v Banks, 86 Mich App 615 (1977), which held that an uninsured motor vehicle included a motor vehicle as to which there was not in full force and effect a liability policy meeting the minimum insurance requirements of the motor vehicle responsibility law. Under that rule of law, a foreign vehicle insured under a foreign insurance policy with coverage limits less than the minimum Michigan limits was, although technically an "underinsured vehicle," considered to be an "uninsured" motor vehicle for purposes of uninsured motorist benefits. However, the fact that the no-fault law made uninsured motorist coverage non-compulsory, changes this result.  

[Author's Comment: This case was unintentionally omitted from previous supplements and is added for completeness.]  

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