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Progressive loses another battle over priority in obligation to pay PIP benefits

Doug Alt was badly hurt in a single vehicle collision.  Alt was a farmer who lived with his parents. He was driving a car titled in his name but insured with Citizens by his parents.  Alt's only insured vehicle was a pickup truck he used on the farm. Citizens initially paid his PIP benefits but then sought reimbursement by Progressive.  Progressive apparently initially indicated an obligation to pay but then refused and filed suit for a declaratory judgment that it was not responsible for PIP benefits.

As the PIP insurer of Alt's only motor vehicle, Progressive would be first in priority to pay benefits, normally.  It argued, however, that since it issued a commercial policy on the truck and did not insure the car that Alt was driving, it should not be obligated to pay PIP benefits.  It argued that it did not assume a PIP risk arising out of vehicles used off the farm and that it would owe PIP benefits only if Alt or another person was occupying the insured truck at the time he suffered injury.

The Appellate Court rejected this argument, noting that the argument was inconsistent with Progressive's identification of Alt, personally, as the "Named Insured."   Since Alt was the named insured on the Progressive policy, Progressive was the first priority in line to pay for vehicular injuries suffered by Alt, regardless of which vehicle he was occupying.

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