NO. 2 HARRISBURG, 1981, Appeal from Judgment of Sentence entered in the Court of Common Pleas, Civil Division, of Franklin County at No. A.D. 1980-135.
John N. Keller, Waynesboro, for appellant.
Thomas J. Finucane, Chambersburg, for appellee.
Brosky, McEwen and Beck, JJ. McEwen, J., files a concurring statement.
[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 475]
Truckman John T. Monti purchased from Rockwood Insurance Company a one year business vehicle insurance policy, (hereinafter "policy") for his 1972 International Tractor and his 1977 Fruehauf Trailer (hereinafter collectively "the rig").*fn1 The policy's coverages included Liability Insurance, Personal Injury Protection and Uninsured Motorists Insurance.
On January 21, 1980, appellant Monti suffered serious bodily injury when the rig, which he was driving, went out of control and overturned on the Ohio Turnpike. When the accident occurred, the rig was leased to Cardinal Transport, Inc., on whose behalf appellant was hauling freight.
Citing the Personal Injury Protection Endorsement in his policy, Monti applied to appellee Rockwood for payment of benefits in excess of $10,000 to compensate him for his medical expenses and other losses arising out of his accident. Rockwood refused payment, asserting that an exclusion in that endorsement relieved it of liability for these charges.
As a consequence of Rockwood's refusal, Monti brought a declaratory judgment action requesting the lower court to find that the policy required payment by Rockwood of all allowable expenses, work loss, replacement services loss and attorney's fees as defined by the Pennsylvania No-fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act, 40 P.S. § 1009.101 et seq.
After trial without a jury, the lower court held that the Personal Injury Protection exclusion barred recovery by Monti, and entered judgment for Rockwood.*fn2 The only issue in this case involves the interpretation of the policy. Because
[ 303 Pa. Super. Page 476]
we conclude that the lower court misinterpreted the unambiguous terms of the policy, we reverse and remand.
In interpreting this insurance contract, we are mindful that an insurance policy must be read in its entirety, and its words are to be given their plain and proper meanings. Ranieli v. Mutual Life Ins. Co. of America, 271 Pa. Super. 261, 413 A.2d 396 (1979); Pennsylvania Mfrs.' Ass'n Ins. Co. v. Aetna C. & S. Ins. Co., 426 Pa. 453, 233 A.2d 548 (1967). Where the policy contains definitions for the words contained therein, the court will apply those definitions in interpreting the policy. Adelman v. State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co., 255 Pa. Super. 116, 386 A.2d 535 (1978); Great American Ins. Co. v. State Farm Mut. Ins. Co., 412 Pa. 538, 194 A.2d 903 (1963). A court should read the policy provisions to avoid ambiguities, if possible, and not torture language to create them. St. Paul Fire and Mar. Ins. v. U.S. Fire ...