United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania
January 13, 2004.
STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CO.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: THOMAS O'NEILL, Senior District Judge
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
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
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
Plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that it is not obligated to
provide benefits to Harrison. The parties have filed cross-motions for
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.
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