Use and OperationDecember 22, 2018

Matter of GEICO Ins. Co. v Rice, 2018 NY Slip Op 08651 (2d Dept. 2018)

“Upon approaching the vehicle, Rice placed his hand into a partially opened window to unlock the door, at which point the vehicle moved forward and dragged Rice along the roadway.”

“The term “occupying” was defined in the policy as “in, upon, entering into, or exiting from a motor vehicle.” This policy language was not ambiguous, and GEICO was entitled to enforce the provision to disclaim coverage (see Matter of Government Empls. Ins. Co. v Avelar, 108 AD3d 672Matter of USAA Cas. Ins. Co. v Cook, 84 AD3d 825, 826; Matter of USAA Cas. Ins. Co. v Hughes, 35 AD3d 486, 487-488; see generally Baughman v Merchants Mut. Ins. Co., 87 NY2d 589, 592; Government Empls. Ins. Co. v Kligler, 42 NY2d 863, 864-865). Here, GEICO made a prima facie showing that Rice was “occupying” his own vehicle and not the vehicle insured by GEICO under his mother’s policy”

Use, operation and occupation.  Always poses interesting questions.

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