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Florida Second DCA rules that where motor vehicle insurance policy did not provide liability coverage for insured’s resident relative, there was no corresponding requirement to provide UM coverage for relative

On October 25, 2019, in Owners Insurance Company v. Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, et, al, No. 2D18-2309, the Florida Second DCA reversed a trial court’s entry of a summary judgment in favor of Allstate in an action filed by Allstate against another insurer, Owners Insurance, and Allstate’s insured, who resides with his parents (Owners’ insureds). Allstate sought and received a ruling from the trial court that the son had uninsured motorist (UM) coverage under the parents’ Owners policy for injuries he suffered in a motor vehicle accident, even though the Owners’ policy expressly excluded resident relatives like the son who owned their own motor vehicles from liability coverage under the policy. Florida law provides that if a motor vehicle insurance policy provides liability coverage to a resident relative, then it must also extend the same level of UM coverage. See Fla. Stat.§ 627.727(1); Flores v. Allstate Ins. Co., 819 So. 2d 740, 744 (Fla. 2002). A policy may include specified provisions that exclude certain insureds from UM coverage if the named insured knowingly accepts such a limitation and the insurer offers a reduced premium rate. See Fla. Stat. § 627.727(9); Gov't Emps. Ins. Co. v. Douglas, 654 So. 2d 118, 120 (Fla. 1995) Allstate contended that the exclusion in the Owners policy was invalid because Owners neither obtained the informed acceptance nor provided the reduced rate required of insurers that include the statutory exceptions to the UM mandate in their policies, as is required under § 627.727(9). However, the Second DCA concluded that these requirements were inapplicable in this case because UM coverage was not mandated for the son in the first place since he was not an insured under the Owners policy.