Insurer successfully denies payment of Underinsured Motorist Coverage
Randall Enos was badly hurt when a car driven by Steven McMullin struck him while snowmobiling. McMullin had only $20,000.00 in liability coverage, but Enos' business had purchased one million dollars of underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage from Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company. Allied denied Enos' claim for UIM benefits, however, arguing that he was a passenger in an owned "motor vehicle" which was not listed on the Declaration Page of the Allied motor vehicle policy.
Usually, snowmobiles are not considered a "motor vehicle" for no fault purposes, as by the no fault statute, a motor vehicle must have four wheels. Nevertheless, the Court held that Allied could enforce its interpretation of the "motor vehicle" exclusion and deny Enos any benefit of the UIM coverage he had purchased. The Court reasoned that the interplay of the contract definitions clearly excluded Allied from paying UIM benefits for an injury suffered in this situation.