In Komorsky v. Farmers Ins. Exch., 33 Cal.App.5th 960 (March 1, 2019), the California Second District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's entry of judgment in favor of Truck Insurance Exchange ("Truck") in connection with a dispute arising out of coverage for uninsured motorist benefits provided by the Truck policy. Melissa Komorsky contended that she and her daughter were entitled to uninsured motorist coverage afforded by the Truck policy for an underlying accident which killed her mother. Pursuant to Insurance Code Section 11580.2, subdivision (a)(1), Komorsky and her daughter qualified as insureds under the primary policy scheduled by the Truck umbrella policy. Section 11580.2, subdivision (a)(1) states in relevant part:
"No policy of bodily injury liability insurance covering liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of any motor vehicle ... shall be entitled or delivered in this state to the owner or operator of a motor vehicle ... unless the policy contains, or has added to it by endorsement, a provision ... insuring the insured's heirs or legal representative, for all sums that he, she or they, as the case may be, shall be legally entitled to recover as damages for bodily injury or wrongful death from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle .... A policy shall be excluded from the application of this insurance if the automobile liability coverage is provided only on an excess or umbrella basis."
Komorsky contended that because the Truck umbrella policy followed form to the scheduled Farmers policy, it also adopted the requirement pursuant to Section 11580.2, subdivision (a)(1) that the uninsured motorist coverage extended to Komorsky and her daughter as the legal heirs of their deceased mother.
In affirming the trial court's entry of judgment in favor of Truck, the Court of Appeal held that the Truck policy followed form to the underlying Farmers policy in connection with the scope of coverage afforded by such policy, which stated that "this policy will provide uninsured and/or underinsured motorist coverage(s) payable to you and any other insured under this policy." Thus, the Court of Appeal reasoned that the scope of coverage afforded by the Truck policy was the same as in the underlying Farmers policy. However, as the policy made clear, the identity of the insureds – i.e., those to whom uninsured benefits are payable, is limited to "you" (defined in the policy only as the named insured, Alan Liker and his spouse, Linda Liker – deceased). Because Komorsky did not reside in the same household as Alan Liker and Linda Liker, she and her daughter did not qualify as "insureds" as defined in the Truck policy. Hence, Komorsky and her daughter were not entitled to coverage under the Truck policy for the uninsured motorist claim covered by the Farmers policy.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.