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Decision reversed and insured's Underinsured Motorist claim is summarily dismissed

Philip and Katherine Hempel bought Underinsured Motorist Coverage (UIM) from Farm  Bureau.  When Philip was hurt while occupying a taxi, they sued the at-fault driver for damages and recovered the policy limits of $100,000.00.  Since that amount wasn't adequate to cover the at-fault's liability, they sought UIM benefits from Farm Bureau.  Farm Bureau argued that its policy provided UIM and Uninsured Motorist benefits only when the insureds occupied an insured vehicle.

The Hempels argued that the language of the policy was ambiguous and would be interpreted by a reasonable insured to provide coverage to a Named Insured even when not occupying the insured vehicle.  The trial judge agreed and denied Farm Bureau summary disposition.  The insurer appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed, granting judgment to Farm Bureau against its insured.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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Traverse City, Michigan 49684
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