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The object must hit your car: your car can't hit the object

  In an effort to eliminate "phantom" uninsured motorist claims, most insurers require that there be some corroborating evidence of "physical contact" with the insured vehicle.  The "strict constructionists" in Seger v. Hartford read this requirement with such minute detail that striking a tree did not meet the contract terms and benefits were denied.

   Judge Bekkering dissented from the opinion.  She noted that it was purely an exercise in semantics to suggest a functional change in outcome, depending upon whether your car hits an object, or the object strikes your car.  Bekkering noted that exclusions from Uninsured Motorist Coverage have been upheld, provided the "physical contact" requirement is broadly interpreted.  Here, Bekkering noted that the "substantial physical nexus" requirement was satsified and the majority was drawing an overly literal distinction in the policy.  It was ignoring the fact that, as required by the insurance contract, "the facts of the accident must be proved" and were proved, by the testimony of a neutral observer.

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