Question from an IIABNY member: I have an auto policy that shows Symbol 7 ("Specifically Described Autos") for Personal Injury Protection Coverage and Symbol 5 ("Owned Autos Subject to No-Fault") for Additional PIP Coverage. The insured has vehicles that are leased. Does the word "owned," as used in Symbol 5, include leased vehicles?
Answer: In my opinion, symbol 5 in the ISO Business Auto Policy (CA 00 01 10 13) does not apply to leased autos. I say this for the following reasons:
The policy describes symbol 5 as, “Only those ‘autos’ you own that are required to have no-fault benefits in the state where they are licensed or principally garaged. This includes those ‘autos’ you acquire ownership of after the policy begins provided they are required to have no-fault benefits in the state where they are licensed or principally garaged.”
The policy describes symbol 8 as, “Only those ‘autos’ you lease, hire, rent or borrow…”
The New York Mandatory Personal Injury Protection Endorsement (CA 22 32 11 13) defines “insured motor vehicle” as “a motor vehicle owned by the named insured and to which the bodily injury liability insurance of this policy applies and for which a specific premium is charged.”
The Additional Personal Injury Protection (New York) endorsement (CA 22 33 11 13) states, “The Company agrees with the named insured, subject to all of the provisions, exclusions and conditions of the New York Mandatory Personal Injury Protection Endorsement, not expressly modified in this endorsement as follows …”
Symbols 5 and 8 appear to be mutually exclusive – one includes only owned vehicles, the other includes only leased vehicles. The mandatory PIP endorsement includes only owned vehicles in the definition of “insured motor vehicle.” The APIP endorsement includes all the terms of the mandatory endorsement unless the APIP endorsement specifically changes them.
That is not to say, though, that the APIP endorsement does not cover anyone while they’re in a leased vehicle. The endorsement states:
"The Company will pay additional first party benefits to reimburse for extended economic loss on account of personal injuries sustained by an eligible injured person and caused by an accident arising out of the use or operation of a motor vehicle or a motorcycle during the policy period.
Subject to the exclusions set forth below, an eligible injured person is:
(a) The named insured and any relative who sustains personal injury arising out of the use or operation of any motor vehicle …
(c) Any other person who sustains personal injury arising out of the use or operation of the insured motor vehicle while occupying the insured motor vehicle; or
(d) Any other person who sustains personal injury arising out of the use or operation of any other motor vehicle (other than a public or livery conveyance) while occupying such other motor vehicle, if such other motor vehicle is being operated by the named insured or any relative."
The endorsement contains eight exclusions. Four of them pertain to vehicles owned by the injured person and that do not carry no-fault coverage; one pertains to occupying a motorcycle; one pertains to intentional self-inflicted injuries; one pertains to operating a vehicle while intoxicated; and the other pertains to racing, illegal acts, and working in the auto service business. None of these necessarily apply to the named insured or relative while in a leased vehicle, or to another person while occupying a leased vehicle operated by the named insured or relative. The endorsement should provide coverage to the injured individuals. It also gives the insurer subrogation rights, so the insurer could conceivably seek recovery from the leasing company or its insurer.