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Florida Second DCA rules that UM insurer's exclusion of golf cart as "uninsured motor vehicle" was invalid when liability provisions of policy covered use of non-owned golf carts

On January 17, 2018, in Amica Mutual Insurance Company v. Willis, No. 2D16-2319, the Florida Second DCA affirmed a trial court’s summary judgment in favor of an insured in a declaratory judgment action against her uninsured motorist (UM) insurance provider. The plaintiff filed the lawsuit against the insurance company after it denied benefits under the UM provisions of the policy for an accident in which she was hit by an under-insured golf cart. The UM provisions of the policy excluded vehicles, such as golf carts, designed mainly for use off public roads, but the liability provisions of the same policy specifically covered non-owned golf carts. The plaintiff’s summary judgment motion was premised on the fact that Section 627.727(1), Florida Statutes, requires that the limits of UM coverage be the same as the limits of any liability coverage, unless otherwise agreed to by the insured. The trial court determined that the UM exclusion was invalid because there was no reciprocal limitation on liability coverage, relying on Sommerville v. Allstate Insurance Co., 65 So. 3d 558 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011), in which the Second DCA ruled that a UM exclusion for persons occupying rented autos was invalid when the same policy provided liability coverage for the insured’s operation of a rented auto.

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