Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. Albert
Porter and the Hon. Charles Freeman, Judges, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE LINN DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:
Plaintiff, Economy Fire & Casualty Company (Economy), instituted this declaratory judgment action seeking an order by the trial court that Economy is not obligated to defend Paula Kubik, the daughter of Edward Kubik, for claims arising from an accident Paula was involved in on September 3, 1984. Edward Kubik had previously purchased from Economy an automobile liability policy covering himself and each person constituting a "family member." Economy claims that although Paula is a "family member" under the terms of Edward's policy, nevertheless, Economy is not obligated to defend or indemnify Paula for claims arising from this particular accident because of an exclusion in the policy (exclusion No. 11), that bars coverage "for any person using a vehicle without a reasonable belief that the person is entitled to do so."
Soon after Economy filed its complaint, Paula moved for summary judgment contending that the aforementioned exclusion is ambiguous and should be drawn against Economy and in her favor. The trial court agreed with Paula and found that Economy was obligated to defend and/or indemnify Paula for any claims arising from the September 3, 1984, accident.
Economy now brings this appeal.
Economy asserts on appeal that the trial court erred in its construction of the policy, and in particular exclusion No. 11. It is Economy's position that: (1) the language of exclusion No. 11 is clear and unambiguous and requires no interpretation; (2) if the drafters of exclusion No. 11 wanted to draw an exception for a "family member," they would have so stated; and (3) the intent of the drafters of exclusion No. 11 was, through the use of the terms "any person," to encompass every circumstance where an individual used an automobile "without permission."
We affirm the ruling of the trial court:
The facts are not in dispute. On August 21, 1984, Economy issued to Edward Kubik an automobile insurance policy (policy No. PR 12-038506) covering a 1977 Buick Skylark owned by him. The policy provided liability coverage for personal injury and property damage caused by Edward or any member of his family while they were operating Edward's Buick Skylark. The policy ws effective from August 20, 1984 to February 20, 1985. The key provisions pertinent to this appeal state:
"We do not provide liability coverage for:
11. For any person using a vehicle without a reasonable belief that the person is entitled to do so."
On September 3, 1984, Edward Kubik's 14-year-old daughter, Paula, was involved in an auto accident in which Danny K. Meyer was killed. At the time of the accident, Paula was driving her father's 1977 Buick Skylark.
On October 24, 1984, Economy filed this declaratory judgment action. On June 12, 1985, the trial court granted Paula's motion for summary judgment prompting Economy to bring this appeal.
• 1 We initially note that the instant case is before us as a result of the trial court's decision to grant Paula summary judgment. A motion for summary judgment should be granted if the record discloses that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is therefore entitled to judgment as a matter of law. (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Schmitt (1981), 94 Ill. App.3d 1062, 419 N.E.2d 601.) Since construction of an insurance policy presents only a question of law (Voss v. Associated Life Insurance Co. (1976), 36 Ill. App.3d 105, 343 ...