Am. Access Cas. Co. v. Reyes

Reyes was driving in Elgin when she was involved in an accident with pedestrians, a mother and her four-year-old son. The boy died. The mother and her husband sued Reyes for negligence and wrongful death. American Access Casualty sought a declaration that the policy it had issued to Reyes provided no coverage. The policy had been issued to Reyes on her 1999 Chrysler. She was identified as the titleholder of the vehicle, the named insured, and as “driver number one.” Next to her name, where her driver’s license number should be, was the language “Title Holder Exclude.” A friend, was listed as “driver number two” and identified as the primary driver. An endorsement excluded from coverage vehicle operation by Reyes. State Farm, which provided uninsured-motorist coverage to the mother and son, filed a counterclaim, seeking a declaration that American Access’ attempt to exclude Reyes under its own insurance policy violated public policy and was unlawful. The trial court granted American Access summary judgment, finding that the policy in question provided no coverage for the accident. The appellate court and Illinois Supreme Court disagreed. Section 7-601(a) of the Illinois Safety and Family Financial Responsibility Law, part of the Illinois Vehicle Code, requires liability insurance for vehicles on the road for the protection of the public. Although the exclusion of named drivers is permitted, exclusion of a vehicle owner who is also the named insured is a violation of the public policy expressed in the statute. View "Am. Access Cas. Co. v. Reyes" on Justia Law