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Economy Preferred Insurance Co. v. Rodgers

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

October 16, 2019

ECONOMY PREFERRED INSURANCE COMPANY, an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
ADAM RODGERS and APRIL RODGERS, husband and wife, and the marital community comprised thereof, Defendant.

          ORDER

          JOHN C. COUGHENOUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment (Dkt. No. 19). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS the motion for the reasons explained herein.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. The Policy

         Plaintiff issued Defendants Adam and April Rodgers an auto insurance policy that was in effect on August 10 and August 11, 2018. (Dkt. No. 14 at 4-12.) The policy includes the Washington Underinsured Motorists Coverage Endorsement (“UIM endorsement”). (Id. at 7-9.) The UIM endorsement provides coverage when “an insured is legally entitled to recover [compensatory damages] from the owner or operator of an underinsured motor vehicle for [bodily injury] . . . sustained by an insured; and . . . caused by an accident arising out of owning, maintaining, or the use of an underinsured motor vehicle.” (Id. at 7.) The UIM endorsement defines an underinsured motor vehicle as “a motor vehicle for which . . . the sum of the limits of the [bodily injury liability insurance policies] is less than the damages which the insured is legally entitled to recover.” (Id.) The UIM endorsement does not modify the definition of “motor vehicle.” (Id. at 7-9.) The policy provides the following definition for “motor vehicle”:

         MOTOR VEHICLE means a land motor vehicle designed for use mainly on public roads other than:

1. a farm type tractor or farm equipment designed for use mainly off public roads, while not upon public roads;
2. a vehicle operated on rails or crawler-treads;
3. a self-propelled steam engine or traction engine;
4. a compactor type engineering vehicle used for the construction of roads or foundations; or
5. a vehicle used primarily as a residence, dwelling, premises, or place of business.

(Id. at 5-6.) (emphasis added)

         The policy also includes the Washington Personal Injury Protection Endorsement (“PIP endorsement”). (Id. at 10-12.) The PIP endorsement provides that Plaintiff will “pay . . . benefits to an insured for loss and expense incurred because of [bodily injury] sustained by that insured and caused by an accident arising out of . . . use of an auto[.]” (Id. at 11.) The PIP endorsement modifies the definition of “auto” for the PIP endorsement only:

         AUTO means every motor vehicle designed for carrying ten passengers or less and used for transportation of ...


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