An important type of insurance coverage is uninsured motorist coverage. This coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with someone that does not have any insurance or has insufficient insurance. Recently, there was a case decided by the Massachusetts Appeals Court determining the scope of this type of coverage and who is protected when the insurance is purchased.
The case was Oliveria v. Commerce Insurance. The plaintiff seemed coverage as a household member under the uninsured motorist provision of the policy. The plaintiff argued that he should have been covered under the insurance policy of his girlfriend’s mother and step-father, with whom he had lived with for an extended period of time. The appeals court ultimately upheld the Superior Court’s ruling that, although the plaintiff lived with the insured parties and has a son in which the policyholders are genetically related to, he himself is not related by blood and therefore not eligible to under the policy.
The plaintiff had been living with his girlfriend, their son, and her mother and step-father for an extended period of time. Oliveira is not married nor engaged to his girlfriend, but notably, they have a young child together and have been living under the same roof for years. On the night of July 18, 2014, Oliveira was injured in a one-car accident, sustaining major injuries which included a four-day hospital stay, disability benefits, and medical bills which totaled over $40,000. The driver of the vehicle involved in the accident was insured under her own policy, and Oliveira accepted a settlement with the driver of $100,000.