My client is a truck driver. He was asked to deliver a load to North Carolina. When he tried to attach the trailer to his own truck, the trailer would not properly attach. The company which asked him to deliver the load then provided him with a truck to deliver the load. Unfortunately, my client was injured when he was hit by another vehicle while in North Carolina.
He carries full insurance coverage on his own truck, but that policy does not apply to accidents that occur out of state if he is in a vehicle he does not own. However, the truck he was using to deliver the load was insured with a policy that provided coverage for personal injury protection (PIP), and medical payments coverage (Med Pay). That insurance company denied all claims regarding the accident. The insurer claimed there was no PIP because my client carried PIP on his own vehicle (PIP which does not apply to out of state accidents which occur in a non-owned vehicle). The insurer claimed there was no Med Pay because the Med Pay coverage has an exclusion for any "employees" of the company for which he was working.
I do not believe that either exclusion applies. Under Florida Statute Section 627.736, a PIP policy can only have a few "authorized exclusions." The exclusion being applied by the insurance company in this case is not one of those authorized exclusions. I do not believe that the Med Pay exclusion applies because my client is not an "employee" of the delivery company. He was an independent contractor.
Because the insurance company has denied coverage, I filed a declaratory judgment action to have a court determine whether the exclusions actually apply. As with all exclusion in insurance policies, the burden of proof will be on the insurance company to prove that the exclusions apply.
As with most of my insurance cases, there are no fees or costs to my client. If I win, the insurance company must pay my attorney’s fees and costs, and if I lose, I’ll work for free.