Rush v. Erie Ins. Exch.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court issued a critical ruling on an issue of first impression regarding underinsured motorist coverage. A detective was injured while driving his patrol car. The insurance companies for the municipality and the other motorists paid out the total amount of the policy. The detective then sought additional compensation from his insurance carrier under his policies’ underinsured motorist coverage. He had two policies that provided for stacked UIM benefits. But those benefits were limited by a “regular use” exclusion clause. Under that exclusion, the UIM benefits were not available if the insured was operating a vehicle that he (1) regularly uses, (2) does not own, and (3) is not insured by the insurer. Here, the detective regularly used his work car; the municipality owned it; it and was insured by the municipality’s insurer. So the detective’s carrier declined coverage because that “regular use” exclusion applied. The detective filed a complaint seeking declaratory relief compelling coverage. The Court of Common Pleas granted relief, holding that the “regular use” exception was at odds with the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. The Superior Court agreed and affirmed. The Court held that the portion of the MVFRL that governs UIM coverage did not permit a “regular use” exception, and thus that clause was unenforceable. 

Search entire site by keyword...

Search for Summaries by Hashtag...

Past Opinion Summaries