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Allstate Insurance Company v Shasta Hogan; (COA-UNP, 6/22/1984; RB #759)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket No. 71184; Unpublished  
Judges Kelly, Beasley, and O'Brien; 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    

This unpublished Opinion does not specifically deal with the No-Fault Statute per se, but rather involves a definition of the concept of "occupying" as used in standard uninsured motorist policies.

In this unanimous per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals strictly construed the concept of occupying where a broad definition of the term would result in the denial of uninsured motorist coverage to an injured accident victim. The victim in this case was struck by an uninsured motorist immediately after she had put oil into the engine of her parked vehicle which was also uninsured. At the time of her accident, the victim resided with her stepfather and claimed uninsured motorist coverage under a policy issued by Allstate covering the stepfather's vehicle. The policy contained an exclusion denying uninsured motorist benefits to any relative injured while occupying an owned vehicle which was not specifically insured with uninsured motorist benefits. In support of its argument, Allstate cited the Supreme Court's pre-no-fault decision in Nickerson v Citizens Mutual.

The Court of Appeals rejected the analogy to Nickerson and stated,"... we distinguish Nickerson from the within case and read it to require a strict, limiting construction of the language excluding coverage so as to resolve the ambiguity in favor a Shasta Hogan and against Allstate Insurance Company. Doubts should be resolved in favor of coverage."

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