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

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

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

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