Insurance Coverage Case : A Fatal Car Accident

1711 Words May 31st, 2016 7 Pages
I. INTRODUCTION This insurance coverage case stems from a fatal car accident in Helena. Respondent Joel Powers, while driving his mother’s 1990 Eagle Summit, struck Benjamin Homan while Homan was on a bicycle. Power’s mother insured the 1990 Eagle Summit through Mid-Century Insurance Company (“Mid-Century”). Powers received a defense pursuant to that policy, and Mid-Century paid the applicable policy limit under Powers’ mother’s policy to the Homan Respondents. Powers also, however, had a separate Mid-Century policy that insured his 1996 Nissan truck (which was not involved in the accident). This case concerns the Mid-Century policy that insured Powers’ 1996 Nissan truck. No coverage exists under Powers’ Mid-Century policy that insured the 1996 Nissan truck because its nonowned automobile exclusion applies. The Montana Supreme Court previously declared this exclusion plain, unambiguous, and enforceable in a very similar case. It’s triggered in accidents involving a car, other than a policy defined “insured car,” that is 1) owned by or 2) furnished or available for regular use by the insured or the insured’s family member. Since the exclusion uses “or” in the disjunctive, the Montana Supreme Court holds these two alternatives apply independent of one another. Either alternative of the nonowned automobile exclusion unequivocally applies here. The Homan Respondents sued Respondent Joel Powers in the underlying case for an accident where Powers operated his mother’s 1990…

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