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Otto v. Allstate Insurance Co.

OCTOBER 7, 1971.




APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County, the Hon. EDWARD F. HEALY, Judge, presiding.


This is an appeal by plaintiff from the trial court's adverse decision in a declaratory judgment proceeding brought by the plaintiff to construe the limits of coverage available to her under an automobile insurance policy issued by the defendant, Allstate Insurance Company. More specifically, the plaintiff Otto contends that where two automobiles are insured for uninsured motorist coverage in the same policy, and where an insured, while riding on a motorcycle, is injured by an uninsured motorist, the injured insured should be allowed to recover under the uninsured motorist provision of both automobiles thereby doubling the coverage available. Thus, plaintiff would recover $20,000 rather than $10,000 as allowed by the trial court.

Plaintiff supports this contention by arguing: (1) That her right to the double coverage is manifest by the separate terms and coverages of the two certificates constituting the single Allstate policy. (2) The protection afforded by these separate insurance certificates applies separately and together to plaintiff's protection, since all the terms of the policy "apply separately to each." (3) Plaintiff's coverage is not reduced by the "other insurance" provision of the Allstate policy, since Allstate insurance is the only insurance available to her.

We affirm.

Sandra Otto, plaintiff, is the daughter of Raymond Otto. Raymond Otto was insured by defendant, Allstate Insurance Company, for automobile legal liability pursuant to Allstate's "Crusader Policy." On September 13, 1967, plaintiff was injured while riding on a motorcycle which was struck by an uninsured motorist. Plaintiff was an insured within the meaning of the Allstate policy which provided insurance for two separate automobiles: Item 1, a 1965 Rambler, and Item 2, a 1961 Pontiac. Both items were insured under one policy, but each item was evidenced by a separate insurance certificate on a supplement page which bore the breakdown of premium charges applicable to that item. According to the stipulation of facts produced at trial, the uninsured motorists premium on Item 1 was $4 and that on Item 2 was $3. The limit of liability stated on the supplement pages under uninsured motorists coverage was:

"1. `Each person' is the limit of Allstate's liability for all damages arising out of bodily injury sustained by one person in any accident. (Hereinafter referred to as `Limit of Liability Clause.')"

The limit for each person was $10,000 as noted on the supplement pages next to the premium charges for uninsured motorists insurance.

Other clauses pertinent are:


With respect to bodily injury sustained by any insured while occupying any automobile, other than one owned by the named insured, the insurance hereunder shall not apply if the owner of such automobile has insurance similar to that provided for herein.

Subject to the preceding paragraph, if the insured has other similar insurance available to him and applicable to the accident, the damages shall be deemed not to exceed the higher of the applicable limits of liability of this insurance and such other insurance, and Allstate shall not be liable for a greater proportion of any loss, to which this Coverage S applies, than the limit of liability hereunder bears to the sum of the applicable limit of liability of this Coverage S and such other insurance. (Hereinafter referred to as `Other Insurance Clause.')

Condition 3. Insurance on Two or more Automobiles.

When two or more automobiles are insured by this policy, the terms of this policy shall apply separately to each, but an automobile and attached trailer shall be deemed to be one automobile as respects the limits of liability under Part I of Section I and separate automobiles under Section IV, including any deductible provisions which may apply. (Hereinafter referred to as `Separability Clause.')"

Plaintiff predicates her claim for $20,000 upon the following arguments: First, the fact that the two items insured are evidenced by two separate certificates constitutes, in effect, two separate policies. Second, the separability clause of the insurance contract makes both of the uninsured motorist coverages available to her, and because each coverage has an "each person" limit of $10,000, she should be entitled to $20,000. Third, because there has been a double payment of premiums, she can rightfully expect a double recovery. ...

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