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Gen. Acc. Fire & Life Assur. v. Klatt

OPINION FILED FEBRUARY 1, 1984.

GENERAL ACCIDENT FIRE & LIFE ASSURANCE CORPORATION, LTD., PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,

v.

ALOYSIUS KLATT, DEFENDANT-APPELLEE.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. James C. Murray, Judge, presiding.

JUSTICE O'CONNOR DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

Plaintiff General Accident Fire & Life Assurance Corp., Ltd., filed an action for declaratory judgment to determine the availability of uninsured motorist coverage for defendant, Aloysius Klatt, who was injured, on October 18, 1980, in a one-car accident while being driven by his wife. Both parties filed motions for judgment on the pleadings. Defendant's motion was granted, the circuit court of Cook County holding that he was entitled to uninsured motorist coverage under the policy issued on his automobile by plaintiff. Plaintiff appeals, contending that defendant's wife was an insured under the policy and that, therefore, defendant was not entitled to uninsured motorist coverage.

Section 143a(1) of the Illinois Insurance Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 73, par. 755a(1)) provides in pertinent part:

"Sec. 143a. (1) On or after July 1, 1963, no policy insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury or death suffered by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle shall be renewed or delivered or issued for delivery in this State with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State unless coverage is provided therein or supplemental thereto, in limits for bodily injury or death set forth in Section 7-203 of The Illinois Vehicle Code for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured motor vehicles and hit-and-run motor vehicles because of bodily injury, sickness or disease, including death, resulting therefrom, except that the named insured shall have the right to reject such coverage only on policies delivered, renewed or issued for delivery before July 1, 1967."

The legislative intent of this section is in part to insure that persons injured by an uninsured motorist are protected at least to the extent that compensation is made available for persons injured by a motorist insured for the minimum limits under section 7-203 of the Illinois Safety Responsibility Law (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1979, ch. 95 1/2, par. 7-203). (Severs v. Country Mutual Insurance Co. (1982), 89 Ill.2d 515, 434 N.E.2d 290.) Thus, protection is afforded only when the motorist at fault is uninsured.

Policy No. ACF2781851 issued by plaintiff to defendant provided liability coverage and also uninsured motorist coverage as required by section 143a(1).

Part I of the policy provided liability coverage:

"Part I — Liability

Coverage A — Bodily Injury Liability;

To pay on behalf of the insured all sums which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay as damages because of:

A. bodily injury, * * * sustained by any person; arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of the owned automobile or any non-owned automobile, and the company shall defend any suit alleging such bodily injury or property damage and seeking damages which are payable under the terms of this policy, even if any of the allegations of the suit are groundless, false or fraudulent;

Persons Insured

The following are insureds under Part I:

(a) with respect to the owned ...


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