Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Squire v. Economy Fire & Casualty Co.

OPINION FILED NOVEMBER 30, 1977.

NANCY SQUIRE, A MINOR, APPELLANT,

v.

ECONOMY FIRE & CASUALTY COMPANY, APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Appellate Court for the Second District; heard in that court on appeal from the Circuit Court of Du Page County, the Hon. Bruce R. Fawell, Judge, presiding.

MR. JUSTICE CLARK DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

This case involves the construction of the uninsured motorist coverage provisions contained in an automobile insurance policy and in a subsequent endorsement to that policy. The circuit court of Du Page County entered a declaratory judgment in favor of the insured, holding that the $10,000 coverage of the primary policy could be stacked with the $10,000 coverage of the endorsement for a total recovery of up to $20,000. The Appellate Court, Second District, reversed (43 Ill. App.3d 113), and we granted the plaintiff's petition for leave to appeal. We reverse.

On April 5, 1973, plaintiff, Nancy Squire, was standing on a parkway in Glen Ellyn, Illinois, when an uninsured motorist drove off the road, striking a parked car which in turn struck and seriously injured her. She filed a claim under the family automobile insurance policy and subsequent endorsement issued to her parents by the defendant, Economy Fire & Casualty Company. As an "insured person" under that policy and endorsement, plaintiff was insured against being injured (by an uninsured motorist) while a pedestrian, as well as while riding in an automobile.

The primary policy was issued for a period covering one year, from July 12, 1972, to July 12, 1973. Initially, the policy contained one declaration sheet which enumerated various "coverages" (e.g., bodily injury, property damage, collision) available for one automobile and the premiums paid for each. "Coverage J" indicated that the insureds had received, in return for a premium of $4, "Family Protection," with limits of $10,000 for each person injured, up to a total of $20,000 for each accident. Part IV of the policy explained that Coverage J indemnified family members injured by the operator of an uninsured automobile. In addition, the policy stated as follows:

"The insurance afforded is only with respect to such of the following coverages as are indicated by specific premium charge or charges. * * *

Exclusions. This policy does not apply under Part IV:

(a) to bodily injury to an insured while occupying an automobile (other than an insured automobile) owned by the named insured or a relative, or through being struck by such an automobile;

"`[I]nsured automobile' means:

(a) an automobile described in the policy for which a specific premium charge indicates that coverage is afforded,

(a) The limit of liability for family protection coverage stated in the declarations as applicable to `each person' is the limit of the company's liability for all damages * * *."

Approximately eight months later, the Squires purchased an endorsement to their primary policy, providing insurance benefits for a second family automobile for a period covering the remainder of the year, March 17, 1973, to July 12, 1973. Toward this end, a second declaration sheet was attached to the primary policy indicating the various "coverages" and the premiums to be paid therefor. It again included "Family Protection" (uninsured motorist coverage), with limits of $10,000 for each person injured, up to a total of $20,000 for each accident, for which the Squires paid a premium of $1.

In settlement of her claim, the defendant insurance company first offered plaintiff $8,000. Then, after the Squires retained an attorney, defendant raised its offer to $10,000, which it contended was the limit of its liability under the primary policy and endorsement. Believing the limit to be $20,000, plaintiff, by John W. Squire, her father and next friend, brought this action for declaratory judgment. The circuit court, relying on Glidden v. Farmers Automobile Insurance Association (1974), 57 Ill.2d 330, granted plaintiff's motion for judgment on the pleadings. The court held that the defendant had failed to limit plaintiff's uninsured motorist coverage to $10,000, that the insurance coverage for each of the two family automobiles included a provision for $10,000 uninsured motorist coverage, and that the policy and endorsement provide for a total coverage of up to $20,000 as a result of plaintiff's injuries. The appellate court, however, distinguished Glidden and found that the uninsured motorist coverage in the policy and endorsement could not be stacked, thus limiting plaintiff's recovery to $10,000. 43 Ill. App.3d 113, 115-16.

Plaintiff maintains that by paying an additional $1 premium for "family protection," plaintiff's parents purchased an additional $10,000 per person in uninsured motorist coverage. Under such circumstances, she contends, where an insurance company does not otherwise limit its uninsured motorist coverage, and an insured, while a pedestrian, is injured by an uninsured motorist, the insured should be able to recover up to the maximum limitations of the uninsured motorist provisions covering each of the two automobiles. Plaintiff argues that defendant's attempt to limit its liability is ambiguous in that defendant failed to provide in the uninsured motorist clause that stacking of coverage is prohibited or that $10,000 per person is the limit of the company's liability "regardless of the number of insured automobiles to which this insurance applies," as it specifically stated under the "Basic Personal Injury ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.