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INSURANCE COVERAGE: Court finds that driver was not covered under policy when driving a rental vehicle during her employment

The defendant insurer moved for summary judgment, asserting that the plaintiff is not entitled to make an underinsured motorist claim as no underinsured motorist coverage was given to plaintiff under the policy issued by the defendant. The named insured on the policy was University of Bridgeport, a corporation. Under the definition of “Connecticut Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage” where the named insured is a corporation, the insured is anyone occupying a covered automobile or a temporary substitute for a covered automobile. While it is not disputed the plaintiff was working for the insured at the time of the accident, there is a dispute as to whether the vehicle she was driving is covered. The vehicle in question was rented by the plaintiff under authority of her employer because her employer did not have available vehicles for her to use. She was acting as an agent of Bridgeport when she got in the accident. The court found that the language of the insurance policy as to the issues raised in this case is clear and unambiguous.  The endorsement modifies the uninsured and underinsured coverage described above as follows: where the named insured is a corporation, the insured is “[a]nyone ‘occupying’ a covered ‘auto’ or a temporary substitute for a covered ‘auto.’ The covered ‘auto’ must be out of service because of its breakdown, repair, servicing, ‘loss’ or destruction.” The Court notes that the declaration and “Business Auto Coverage Form” provide that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is provided to “Owned ‘Autos’ Only: only those ‘autos’ you own …”  Under the policy language and the facts of the case the court finds that the plaintiff’s vehicle does not fall within the policy and therefore the plaintiff is an insured entitled to make a claim for underinsured motorist benefits. Curley v. The Phoenix Ins. Co., No. FBTCV206096730S, 2021 WL 2532923, at *1 (Conn. Super. Ct. May 28, 2021).