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Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court decides one today

In Shannon Robinson and Bryan Robinson v. Erie Insurance Exchange, a 6-page opinion, Chief Justice Dickson writes:

This appeal challenges a grant of summary judgment in favor of an insurance company on the issue of whether its automobile policy provided uninsured motorists coverage for automo-bile property damage caused by a hit-and-run driver where no personal injury resulted. We affirm. * * *

Under the undisputed facts of the present case, neither the first nor the second category that may constitute an "uninsured motor vehicle" under the Erie policy encompasses the hit-and-run Jeep that struck the Robinsons' vehicle. In the context of a hit-and-run driver causing an accident, the availability of uninsured motorists coverage (which depends on whether the other vehicle fits one of the three Erie policy meanings for "uninsured motor vehicle") is solely determined by the third meaning, which expressly includes a "hit-and-run motor vehicle" whose driver and owner are unknown, but only if the other vehicle causes bodily injury to the insured. These provisions are not ambiguous and do not require the application of rules of construction. Because personal injury did not result to Bryan Robinson in the accident, the Erie policy does not provide uninsured motorists coverage with respect to the property damage sustained by the Robinsons' vehicle. The trial court was correct to grant Erie's motion for summary judgment.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 10, 2014 01:38 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions