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INSURANCE COVERAGE: Superior Court finds that insurer is required to pay bodily injury coverage before underinsured policy of injured passengers is triggered

The plaintiff brought a declaratory judgment action against the defendant, Allstate, looking for the court to issue a declaratory judgment on the rights and obligations of the parties in regard to a motor vehicle collision involving a Brittney Flores. At the time of the accident, Ms. Flores was driving a car owned by her father who maintained an automobile insurance policy providing bodily injury liability coverage with limits of liability of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident. At the time of the accident, Ms. Flores’ uncles, Mr. Flores-Alvarez and Ted Yuschalk, maintained an Allstate automobile insurance policy providing bodily injury liability coverage within limits of liability of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident. The Allstate policy provided that “insured persons while using a non-owned auto are “you” or any “resident” relative using a four-wheel private passenger auto or utility auto.” The plaintiff argued that if Ms. Flores resided in Mr. Flores-Alverez’ home on the date of her accident Allstate was required to pay $100,000 towards the claim settled for $240,000 and $45,000 towards the claim settled for $45,000 by the injured parties in the accident before the UIM coverage of LM would be triggered. Based on the witness testimony presented at the remote trial the court made the relevant finding of fact that Ms. Flores resided at the same residence of her uncles and was their relative. Therefore, the court found that Ms. Flores constituted a resident relative pursuant to the Allstate insurance policy held by her uncles. The court ordered that Allstate is required to pay its $100,000 per person limit towards the first settlement before the LM policy is triggered, and $45,000 towards the second settlement before the LM policy is triggered.  LM Gen. Ins. Co. v. Allstate Fire & Cas. Ins. Co., No. TTDCV196016801S, 2021 Conn. Super. LEXIS 692 (Super. Ct. May 5, 2021).