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ATVs are not covered under “private passenger automobile” coverage.

April 1, 2019
Starner v. Haemmerle, 2018 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2348, 2018 WL 5273995

The applicable insurance policy covered “non-owned private passenger autos,” which were defined in the policy as “a four-wheel private passenger, station wagon or jeep type auto.”

In this instance, an individual was driving an ATV with several passengers, including the plaintiff (a minor). While the ATV was in use, it overturned, causing injuries to the plaintiff. The ATV was not registered and was not maintained by an insurance policy of its own. Therefore, the plaintiff sought coverage under her parent’s auto policy. Initially, the trial court determined the ATV should be considered a “four-wheel passenger auto,” in part because registered ATVs are allowed on public roadways. On appeal, the Superior Court of New Jersey reversed the trial court’s finding, reasoning that an insured would not reasonably believe the policy would cover an ATV, which is primarily a recreational vehicle. 

 

Case Law Alerts, 2nd Quarter, April 2019

Case Law Alerts is prepared by Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin to provide information on recent developments of interest to our readers. This publication is not intended to provide legal advice for a specific situation or to create an attorney-client relationship. Copyright © 2019 Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, all rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of our firm.

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