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Before we discuss the regular use non-owned exclusion, it is important to note that UIM/UM coverage applies to the person insured on the policy, not necessarily the car on the policy. So, for example, if you drive or are a passenger in your friend’s car and get into an accident that isn’t your fault and get seriously hurt, you may be able to make a UIM/UM claim on your own car insurance policy. Car insurance policies usually do not require you to be in your car in order to make UIM/UM claims. Learn about UIM/UM claims.

The regular use, non-owned vehicle exclusion, however, will bar a UIM/UM claim in certain circumstances. If you’re using another car which is not on your auto policy and get into an accident, you may be barred from making a UIM/UM claim.

However, the key is regular use. Isolated instances will not count. For example, borrowing a friend’s car in an isolated incident is unlikely to trigger the exception, meaning that in serious car accident cases, you would still probably be able to make a UIM/UM claim under your own car insurance policy.

Courts often confuse the regular use, non-owned vehicle exclusion. Last year, the Pennsylvania Superior Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that the regular use, non-owned vehicle exclusion applied.

Rother. v. Erie, was an October 2012 case where the plaintiff, who lived in his mother’s household, was driving his father’s vehicle to and from work. He was only allowed to use his father’s car to get to/from work and for emergencies. Before the accident occurred, he had been driving his dad’s car for a total of seven days out of two weeks.

Since he resided with his mother, Rother filed for UIM benefits under his mother’s car insurance policy with Erie. That policy contained a standard regular use exclusion. The trial court allowed him to make the UIM claim, finding that the regular use exclusion didn’t apply. The insurance company appealed and the Superior Court ruled in the insurance company’s favor. The court found that Rother was barred from getting UIM benefits because use of his father’s car was regular enough to trigger the exclusion on his mom’s car insurance policy.

UIM/UM claims are complex. The regular use non-owned exclusion is one of the many different kinds of issues which may apply to a UIM claim in a car/truck accident case. These kinds of claims should not be made without advice of a Pennsylvania car and truck accident lawyer.

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