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Sailing The Seven Seas: Operator Warranty and Household Resident Exclusion Upheld

December 21, 2007

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Interpreting maritme law, a federal court upheld the denial of coverage based on the breach of a "Named Operator's" warranty and resident household member exclusion. It seems that the powerboat in question was being operated by a marine mechanic who was hired to service the boat. The insured's daughter, a passenger, was hurt as a result of the mechanic's negligent operation of the vessel .
Finding that maritime law trumped a state statute, the court rejected the claim that the policy must cover any person operating the boat with the owner's consent. Further, the court upheld the exclusion for bodily injury to any resident household member. The decision is perhaps the first to decide whether an intrafamily exclusion in a marine policy is valid and not against public policy.
INA v. Zaglool, U.S.D.C., E.D.N.Y. (Docket # 06-3124)

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