The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has taken under consideration a very important and harsh exclusion that is now standard in all car insurance policies. This exception is called the Regular Use Exception and it impacts whether or not you can collect underinsured motorist benefits ( UIM ) if you are in an accident.
In Pennsylvania, when you purchase automobile insurance, you are provided what are call UIM benefits. This is additional insurance in the event you are in an accident that is not your fault, and the person at fault does not have enough insurance to cover your injuries. If this is the case, then you make a claim under your own insurance policy for this added benefit for which you have paid regular premiums.
Unfortunately, over the last few years, the insurance companies have written an exclusion for these UIM benefits that has become standard in all policies. This regular use exclusion says that if you are driving a vehicle that is not your insured vehicle at the time of the accident and this vehicle is one that you use regularly (i.e. a company car), then UIM benefits are not available to you. The case before the Supreme Court involves a police officer who was injured while on duty in his squad car. He made an application for UIM benefits on his private car policy, because the police had no UIM benefits, and the same was denied. The trial court and the appellate court have upheld this exclusion.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court issued its decision upholding the Regular Use Exclusion. The only hope we have at this point is that the legislature steps in to change the law. Otherwise, we must be cognizant of the insurance we purchase on our vehicles going forward depending on how we use our cars.