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United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

January 13, 2004.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS O'NEILL, Senior District Judge


Defendant Harrison has filed a claim for underinsured motorist benefits against plaintiff State Farm arising from a motor vehicle accident on May 9, 2001. On that date, Harrison was operating a motorcycle that he owned and was involved in an accident with another vehicle. Harrison has received a tender of the policy limits from the tortfeasor.

Harrison's motorcycle was insured by Universal Underwriters. Universal's policy did not include coverage for underinsured motorist benefits.

  On the date of the accident Harrison was living with his nephew, Sean Harrison. State Farm had issued a policy of insurance to Sean Harrison which did provide underinsured motorists benefits coverage but also contained an exclusion for underinsured motorist benefits coverage (known as a "household exclusion" clause).

  Underinsured motorist coverage is identified in Sean Harrison's policy as "W" coverage and the exclusion contains the following language:

"there is no coverage for bodily injury to an insured under coverage `W' while occupying a motor vehicle owned or leased to that insured if the vehicle is not insured for underinsured motor vehicle coverage under the policy or any other policy."
  Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that it is not obligated to provide benefits to Harrison. The parties have filed cross-motions for summary judgment.

  This case is governed by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's decision in Eichelman v. Nationwide Ins. Co., 551 Pa. 558, 711 A.2d 1006 (1998), the operative facts of which are identical to those in the present action. On the authority of Eichelman, I conclude that the household exclusion is valid and that it bars the coverage claimed by Harrison. Further, the recent decisions in Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. v. Riley, No. 00-1961, 2003 WL 22966891 (3d. Cir. Dec. 18, 2003) and Prudential Property and Casualty Insurance v. Colbert, 813 A.2d 747 (Pa. 2002) reaffirm the policy of not requiring insurers to pay for risks they did not anticipate insuring. In Colbert, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court reaffirmed its reasoning in Eichelman that "an insured should not be permitted to demand coverage for a risk for which coverage was not elected or premiums paid." Colbert, 813 A.2d at 759. In Riley, the Court of Appeals held that where the policy holder "did not pay to insure his daughter's vehicle under his underinsured motorist policy, the [household] exclusion [was] valid, and she [could not] recover under that policy." Riley, 2003 WL 22966891, at * 6.

  Harrison asserts that he falls within the "or any other policy" language of the exclusion because he owns two other vehicles, a 1965 Ford Mustang and a 1995 Ford F150, which were insured through CGU Insurance Company at the time of the accident and on which he carried underinsured motorist coverage. He asserts that the CGU policy also provides underinsured motorist coverage for his motorcycle but the only evidence produced by him to support this assertion is that he has made a claim under the CGU policy. I have not been supplied with a copy of the CGU policy and I note that the CGU policy declaration page lists only the two Fords as covered vehicles.

  AND NOW, this ___ day of January, 2004, plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is GRANTED and defendant's motion is DENIED. Judgement will be entered in favor of plaintiff and against defendant. Page 1


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