Under-Insurance Claim on Employer’s Vehicle

Date: December 1, 2010
Posted In: DLP Law

Mark received a call from his stepdaughter indicating that she had a flat tire after being struck by another motorist. Mark was working so he drove to the her vehicle in his work van. Mark had just exited his work van to speak with a tow truck operator at which time Mark was struck by a passing motorist. Mark suffered serious injuries and filed a claim for under insurance motorist coverage that was provided under his employer\’s policy. The individual that struck Mark only had $15,000.00 in coverage, which was far too inadequate to cover Mark\’s claim.

Mark\’s employer\’s insurance company denied the claim stating that Mark was not “occupying” the work vehicle when he was struck, so he could not recover benefits.

ISSUE: Is the insurance company correct?

ANSWER: No. Our courts have held that in this type of situation Mark would be considered an occupant of the work van and thereby entitled to under insurance motorist benefits to be paid by his own employer\’s auto policy.

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.