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Common Situation 4 – Driving Someone Else’s Car

Common Insurance Situations in Mass Auto Accidents

Common Situation 4
Danny is driving Doris’ auto. Danny hits child victim who is riding on a bicycle. Danny is negligent. Danny owns his own car. Danny and Doris live in separate households. What coverages are available to the child?

Answer to Common Situation 4
Bodily injury coverage on Doris’ vehicle is the primary bodily injury coverage. There is “excess” bodily injury coverage on cars in Danny’s household. For excess bodily injury, always bear in mind the language in the standard Massachusetts Auto Insurance Policy from Part 5, which states:

“If someone covered under this Part is using an auto that he or she does not own at the time of the accident, the owner’s auto insurance must pay its limits before we pay. Then, we will pay, up to the limits shown on your coverage selection page, for any damages not covered by that insurance.”

This form of “stacking” or “layering” of insurance coverages is still permitted even though there is no “stacking” in the uninsured/underinsured context.

However, in this context, you must be aware of something called the regular use exclusion. Assuming that Danny does not regularly drive Doris’ auto, that exclusion will not apply and there can indeed be “stacking” or “layering” of bodily injury coverages.

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