Regular Use Exclusion Law in Pennsylvania
If you get injured while driving a frequently used vehicle, your primary insurance policy will now cover you under the Uninsured and Underinsured coverage
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled that Regular Use Exclusions in Uninsured and Underinsured Auto Insurance Policies are in violation of PA Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. Subsequently, all of these policy exclusions have been determined to be invalid. Prior to this determination, Regular Use Exclusion in personal automobile insurance policies meant that if the policy holder was injured while driving a car that they used on a regular basis, but was not insured under their policy, the insurance company was not required to provide uninsured or underinsured coverage. For example, if you use a car for work purposes, and that car is owned by another entity such as your employer, you would not be entitled to benefits in the event of an accident that caused personal injury. This exclusion is called Regular Use Exclusion.
The court invalidating these exclusions is a big win for accident victims. It allows injured motorists to be covered in the case of an accident even when they are not driving their primary insured vehicle. This ruling is not only a victory for people who use company owned vehicles to drive to and from work, but also for first responders such as police officers, firefighters as well as construction workers and truck drivers.
The Law Office of Andrew Gay, Jr., has handled accident cases involving police officers who have been struck by other drivers while operating a patrol vehicle. An officer receiving Workers Compensation benefits may also file a claim against the person who caused the accident. However, the individual responsible for the accident and injuries may have insufficient insurance to compensate the victim. In some cases, the at-fault party may not be insured at all. The ruling that rendered Regular Use Exclusions invalid in Pennsylvania entitles the officer to seek benefits from his or her Underinsured (UIM) or Uninsured (UM) coverage in their personal automobile insurance policy.
In summary, the key takeaways for this ruling are:
- A driver injured while operating a vehicle frequently used for work, or other purposes, who maintains UIM/UM coverage on their personal insurance policy is entitled to make a claim under a personal policy, if the at-fault driver does not have sufficient insurance.
- Drivers injured by the fault of another driver are entitled to bring a claim against their insurer, if the car they were driving was owned by another party and regularly used by the driver, even if the vehicle was not covered, or listed, on their auto insurance policy.
- This includes vehicles used by employees as well police officers, firefighters, construction workers, truck drivers, and more.
- Under some circumstances, auto insurance recovery is separate and independent of Workers Compensation.
If you, or someone you love, has been injured due to someone else’s negligence while driving a vehicle they did not own, but used regularly, we would be happy to evaluate your loss for the best possible outcome. If you would like to discuss your case, please call us today for your free consultation.
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