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Malburg v Farm Bureau General Insurance Company of Michigan; (COA-UNP, 4/13/2006, RB #2719)


Michigan Court of Appeals; Docket #258886; Unpublished
Judges White, Whitbeck, and Davis; unanimous; per curiam
Official Michigan Reporter Citation: Not applicable, Link to Opinion courthouse graphic

Not applicable

Underinsured Motorist Benefits: Exclusions from Underinsured Motorist Benefits

In this unanimous unpublished per curiam opinion, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court order denying defendant summary disposition on plaintiff’s claim for underinsured motorist benefits because the policy under which plaintiff claimed benefits contained an owned vehicle endorsement which operated to exclude the vehicle he was driving at the time of the accident. The plaintiff in this case was injured in a motor vehicle accident while driving a pickup truck insured by Allstate Insurance. At the time of the accident, plaintiff owned two trailers for use in his business which he insured through defendant. Those policies provided for $250,000 in underinsured motorist insurance and contained an owned vehicle endorsement. The endorsement provided that coverage did not apply to any person injured in an auto owned by the insured if the auto was not insured by the policy. In reversing the trial court’s decision, the Court of Appeals found the endorsement language unambiguous. In this regard, the court stated:

In this case, plaintiff admits that the policy language is clear and unambiguous. It provides that coverage will not be afforded to any person injured while occupying an ‘auto’ owned by the insured or a family member if that auto is not insured for uninsured motorists coverage under the policy. It is undisputed on the record before this Court that plaintiff owned the vehicle he occupied at the time of his injury and that the vehicle he occupied was not insured for uninsured motorist coverage under the policy. Thus, the policy unambiguously excluded coverage.”

Moreover, the court rejected plaintiff’s argument that the policy was illusory because trailers can only be transported if they are pulled by vehicles. The court determined the policy was not illusory because the policy is applicable to other vehicles if the vehicles are not owned by plaintiff or plaintiff’s family.

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