Vitelli v. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co.
Motorcyclist Sought Additional Coverage As 'Resident Relative'
Insurance Law | Policy Terms | Automotive
- New Haven J.D., at New Haven
- Jan 28 2014 (Date Decided)
- Frechette, J.
A court may enforce an insurance exclusion that applies to individuals who are operating their own motor vehicle for which they possess insurance coverage. In November 2012, the plaintiff, Paul Vitelli, was on a motorcycle in Orange, Conn. when an unidentified motorist allegedly collided with him. Vitelli’s own insurance company, Progressive, paid benefits in the amount of $20,000. Vitelli, who resided with his father, sued his father’s insurance company for underinsured-motorist coverage under the "any resident relative" provision in the policy. The defendant insurer moved for summary judgment pursuant to an exclusion that provided, "if the insured person was in, on, or getting into or out of a vehicle owned by that person which is insured for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, the only uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage available to the injured person will be that of the occupied vehicle." The court rejected Paul Vitelli’s claim that the policy exclusion was ambiguous and contradicted by other portions of the insurance policy. It was not disputed that Vitelli owned the motorcycle that he operated and that Progressive insured. Vitelli cannot also recover as a "resident relative" under his father’s insurance policy, and the court granted the defendant insurance company’s motion for summary judgment. "The policy," wrote the court, "is unambiguous, and is consistent with General Statutes §38a-336(d)."