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Gay v. Trumbull Insurance Co.

United States District Court, D. Arizona

August 18, 2014

David Gay, Plaintiff,
v.
Trumbull Insurance Company, Defendant.

ORDER

DAVID G. CAMPBELL, District Judge.

The parties have filed cross motions for summary judgment and a stipulated statement of facts consistent with the Court's order. Docs. 7, 10-12. The Court finds that oral argument is not needed. The Court will deny Plaintiff's motion, grant Defendant's motion, and set another case management conference.

I. Facts.

Defendant issued an automobile and personal umbrella policy (the "Policy") to Daniel and Nancy Gay ("Named Insureds"). The Policy was issued in Chaska, Minnesota for the policy period from May 1, 2013 through November 1, 2013. All insured vehicles are garaged in Minnesota. Plaintiff is the Named Insureds' son.

Sometime before July 9, 2013, Plaintiff purchased a motorcycle. Plaintiff's motorcycle is not listed as an insured vehicle under the Policy. Plaintiff obtained liability insurance for his motorcycle through Foremost Insurance Company ("Foremost Policy"), but declined to purchase underinsured motorist coverage.

On July 9, 2013, Plaintiff was operating his motorcycle when he was involved in a collision with a vehicle operated by Almira Guderjohn in Maricopa County, Arizona (the "Accident"). Guderjohn and her insurer have accepted a portion of liability for the Accident. Guderjohn's liability insurance policy provides $100, 000 per person for bodily injury. Guderjohn's insurer has tendered its policy limits, but these limits are insufficient to fully compensate Plaintiff for his injuries. Plaintiff does not have any other insurance available that provides compensation for the bodily injuries he sustained in the Accident.

The parties agree that Minnesota law applies and that Plaintiff was an insured under the Policy, but the Policy contains the following exclusion (the "Exclusion"):

A. We do not provide coverage under this section (underinsured motorist coverage) for bodily injury sustained by an insured:
1. While occupying any motor vehicle owned by that insured which is not insured for this coverage under this Policy. This includes a trailer of any type used with that vehicle.

Plaintiff tendered a claim for payment under the Policy, but Defendant declined coverage based on the Exclusion. Defendant agrees that it must provide coverage if the Exclusion is either inapplicable or unenforceable.

II. Analysis.

The Court must consider two issues: first, whether the Exclusion is enforceable, and second, whether it applies to the Accident.

A. Enforceability of the Exclusion.

Under Minnesota's No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act, "an insurer's liability is governed by the contract between the parties only as long as coverage required by law is not omitted and policy provisions do not contravene applicable statutes." Hertz Corp. v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co., 573 N.W.2d 686, 689-90 (Minn. 1998). While an ...


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