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"Regular Use" Auto Exclusion Upheld in NJ

April 25, 2012

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<p align="justify">Richard Vann sought med-pay coverage from Mercury Insurance Group, his personal insurance carrier for two automobiles that he owned, after he was injured in a car accident.  After the court granted summary judgment in favor of Mercury, Vann appealed.</p>
<p align="justify">Vann was injured while driving a truck belonging to Vann Trucking, a company owned and operated by his father.  Vann Trucking owned three trucks, including the Mack CH600 that Vann was driving at the time of his accident.  At his deposition, Vann explained that he drove that particular truck 90% of the time while working for Vann.  Moreover, he typically parked the truck close to his home so that it was easily accessible and drove the truck between three to five days per week.</p>
<p align="justify">The Mercury policy provided med-pay coverage for injuries sustained while using "a highway vehicle not owned by or furnished or available for the regular use of the named insured."  Mercury disclaimed coverage due to the "regular use" exclusion under the policy.</p>
<p align="justify">The appellate court upheld the trial court’s decision, finding that the policy exclusion applied to the particular circumstances of this case.  Specifically, the use of the subject vehicle as described by Vann during his deposition constituted a "regular use" under the policy.</p>
<p align="justify">Thanks to Heather Aquino for her contribution to this post.</p>
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