October 15, 2019

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Insured’s Teenage Daughter Entitled to UIM (Underinsured Motorist) Benefits for Injuries Sustained While a Passenger in Friend’s Auto

The insured’s daughter was injured while riding in a car driven by a friend. Her medical bills exceeded the $50,000 bodily injury coverage of the driver, and consequently, she sought underinsured motorist benefits under her father’s policy which had limits of $300,000. The carrier filed a declaratory judgment action asserting the daughter was not entitled to UIM benefits because the car in which she was riding was not a “covered auto.” The trial court entered summary judgment for the insured’s daughter.

The Seventh Circuit affirmed. The UIM endorsement defined who was an in- sured to include the named insured and family members with no requirement that they occupy a covered auto. There is no question the insured’s teenage daughter was a family member. The Court noted that UM and UIM coverage can protect insureds whether they are passengers in a motor vehicle or engaged in another activity such as walking, riding a bicycle or other situation involving injuries sustained from contact with an auto. Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Co. v. Haight, 697 F3d 582 (7th Cir 2012). 

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Heyl Royster serves clients in every county in Illinois. We have offices in six major population centers in Illinois - Peoria, Springfield, Urbana, Rockford, Edwardsville, and Chicago - which allows us to appear in any Illinois state or federal court quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently for our clients. Our offices collaborate with each other and with our clients to achieve client goals. Our statewide practice has earned Heyl Royster a reputation for innovation, excellence, and professionalism and brings our clients a specialized knowledge of...

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