SW Legal studies in Business

Policy Unclear as to Status of Golf Cart Is Read in Favor of Insured
Description Appeals court held that where a homeowner's insurance policy is unclear as to liability coverage for an injury caused by a golf cart to a pedestrian, where one provision appears to provide coverage and another provision appears to exclude coverage, the ambiguity is resolved in favor of the insured.
Topic Insurance
Key Words Homeowner Liability; Recreational Vehicle; Golf Cart
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Herring's son was driving a golf cart on a sidewalk when he struck and injured a pedestrian. His homeowner's policy provided liability coverage for injury caused by the golf cart when it was used for golfing, and also for injury caused by use of a recreational motor vehicle. Herring's insurer contended that the policy did not cover this incident because the cart was not in use for golfing and it is not a recreational vehicle. The trial court agreed, holding that a recreational vehicle (RV) is the kind that is used for temporary living when traveling. Herring appealed.
Decision

Reversed. The policy states that it covers the "insured's use of a recreational motor vehicle." But the policy states elsewhere that a recreational motorized vehicle is not a motor vehicle. Hence, "it is not clear whether a golf cart qualifies as a recreational motor vehicle under the terms of the policy." In case of such ambiguity, "we must construe the policy in favor of the insured."

Citation Herring v. Horace Mann Insurance Co., 795 So.2d 209 (Dist. Ct. App., Fla., 2001)

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