Regular Use Exclusion in UM Claim Upheld, Again

On June 30, 2013 the Pennsylvania Superior Court affirmed the trial court’s order granting summary judgment in favor of Erie Insurance Group based on Erie’s regular use exclusion.  At the time of the accident, Mr. Catania was operating a delivery truck in the course of his employment when he swerved to avoid another vehicle and lost control.   The other vehicle fled the scene and Mr. Catania asserted a uninsured motorist coverage claim against his own Erie Policy.  Erie denied the claim based on the “regularly used non-owned vehicle” exclusion”.  In affirming, the Superior Court referenced its recent decision in Hand v. City of Philadelphia, 65 A.3d 916 (Pa. Super. 2013) and Williams v. GEICO, 32 A.3d 1195 (Pa. 2011) and held that since Catania regularly used the delivery truck, which he did not own, he was not entitled to UM coverage under his Erie Policy.

Claimant had sought discovery related to whether the premium paid for UM coverage ultimately compensated Erie for the risk.  Claimant was precluded from seeking that discovery.  The Court noted that underwriting decisions had not considered coverage on non-owned work vehicle(s), but rather only his personal vehicles.  Accordingly, the judgment in favor of Erie was affirmed.

Erie v. Catania, Pa. Super. No. 1057 WDA 2013

James W. Watson

Office: King Of Prussia
Phone: (610) 977-4108
Email: jwatson@forryullman.com
Practice Areas:  Bad Faith, Commercial Litigation, Coverage, General Liability, Premises Liability, Products Liability, Third Party, UM/UIM