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Auto Accidents Newsletters

Business Use Exclusion in Motorist Insurance

Some motorist insurance policies exclude coverage for injuries and damages if they occur while a vehicle is being used for a business purpose. For example, if a driver is using his or her personal van to make deliveries for the driver’s home-based business and causes a collision with another vehicle, the driver’s insurance company would refuse to pay for the damage caused to the other vehicle and for any injuries to those riding in it. In effect, the exclusion causes a vehicle to drive in and out of insurance coverage depending on its driver’s particular mission.

Mediation of Coverage Disputes: Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Insurance

Mediation is a form of alternative dispute resolution that can be used by an insurance company and an insured to settle a dispute between themselves regarding uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage as well as other disputes. The alternative to mediation would be a lawsuit. In mediation, a third person, who has experience with insurance disputes, meets with the insurance company and the insured to try to work out a solution on which both parties can agree.

Proof of Loss Obligations

When an insured has suffered a loss and wants to prove coverage under an automobile insurance policy, the insured must show the issuance and delivery of the policy, payment of the premium, a loss caused by a risk insured against, and notice and proof of loss to the insurance company. The proof of loss must give the insurance company adequate data from which it can determine its liability under the policy. The proof of loss must be in writing and set forth the injuries or damage sustained. A valuation of the loss should also be provided.

Property Coverage under Auto Insurance Policies

While statistics on the deaths and personal injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents are understandably the most vivid and immediate reminders of the societal costs incident to the extensive use of cars and trucks in the United States, property damage resulting from vehicular accidents in this country has its own significant economic impact. Motor vehicle insurance policies accordingly contain numerous provisions dealing with various kinds of property damage and loss.

Tort Liability for Highway Maintenance

The massive collapse of an interstate highway bridge in Minnesota in 2007 has served as a stark reminder of the problems created by the aging infrastructure in the United States. Numerous less dramatic examples of the consequences of failure to properly maintain and repair highways and associated structures such as bridges and tunnels have led to the bringing of legal actions claiming damages for deaths, personal injuries, or property damage caused by such occurrences. Such actions can involve both governmental units and contractors who perform highway repair and maintenance work on behalf of those governmental units.