An auto insurance policy can cover any type of motor vehicle depending on what is stated in the policy. Most policies cover accidents to "automobiles," which generally means most cars. However, this is not always the case. While some states limit "automobiles" to passenger cars, others have expanded the term to even include tractors.
What Types of Policy Terms Can Effect Auto Insurance Coverage?
Any policy term that attempts to define an "automobile" can effect coverage. Some of the more notable provisions to look out for include:
- Any words accompanying the term automobile, such as passenger, recreational, or commercial.
- Use of the term automobile, immediately followed by a list of excluded vehicles.
- Provisions that use the term car or truck in place of automobile.
In most cases, courts will try to interpret an auto insurance policy as literally as possible. So if a policy specifically states "sedans and other passenger cars," it is safe to say cargo trucks aren’t included. However, if the terms are more unclear, some courts like to give the benefit of the doubt to the policy holder, holding insurers responsible for creating a badly worded policy.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me?
If your auto insurance carrier is refusing to cover a vehicle under your policy, you should contact an products and services attorney immediately to learn about your rights. A lawyer can examine the specific terms used in your insurance policy and compare them with the applicable laws in your state. If necessary, a lawyer can help you bring a bad faith lawsuit against your insurance company.