Uninsured/underinsured insurance (UM) follows the insured not the insured’s vehicle in Louisiana. This means that if you purchased UM on your vehicle’s automobile insurance policy, your UM will cover you even when you are injured outside of the vehicle that you insured.
For example, if you are injured in a Metairie car accident while riding in your friend’s vehicle and the other driver that caused your accident does not have car insurance, you will be able to use your UM insurance even though you were injured while in a car that you do not insure.
However, there is an exclusion that insurance companies add to UM policies that may limit the extent that you can use UM coverage for accidents that you are involved in while occupying vehicles that you do not carry insurance on and that are provided to you for your “regular use.”
The “regular use exclusion” provides that UM coverage does not provide personal injury protection to you when you are injured in a vehicle that is provided to you, your spouse or resident relative for your regular use and is not listed as a covered vehicle in the automotive policy that you purchased. “Regular use” applies to vehicles provided to you by your employer for your regular transportation to and from work. If injured in a vehicle that is provided to you for your regular use, you will likely not be able to use your UM for an accident while occupying that vehicle. But you will be able to use any UM purchased specifically for regularly used vehicle, so always check the insurance policy of the vehicle that you were occupying at the time of the accident for UM coverage.
The regular use exclusion brings up an interesting insurance coverage issue. It certainly seems unfair to limit a person’s ability to use insurance that he or she has paid for. However, Louisiana courts have recognized it as an appropriate way to limit an insurance company’s liability. See Medler vs. State Farm, 16-692 (La. App. 3 Cir. 12/14/16), 208 So. 3d 416; Davenport vs. Prudential Prop. & Cas., 2003-CA-2593 (La. App. 1 Cir. 10/29/04), 897 So. 2d 98.
Donald D’Aunoy Jr. is a Metairie automobile accident attorney that represents clients throughout southeast Louisiana. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident and would like a free consultation, please contact him by calling 504-508-6414. Also, if you have questions about whether an insurance policy provides coverage for a particular accident, Lawyer Don may be able to help. So, please call!