Language in automobile policy violates Indiana’s uninsured motorist statute

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Maggie Bush and Leonard Bush (“the Bushes”) appeal the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (“State Farm”). They raise two issues, of which we find one dispositive: whether State Farm’s automobile policy violates Indiana’s uninsured motorist statute because it requires that an insured sustain bodily injury and not just damages as a result of the conduct of an uninsured motorist before uninsured motorist benefits are available.
Conclusion (slip op. at 7):  The trial court erred when it granted summary judgment in favor of State Farm. We reverse and remand with instructions for the trial court to enter summary judgment in favor of the Bushes.  Reversed and remanded.
Key Analysis (slip op. at 4-5, 7):  A policy violates the uninsured motorist statute when it specifically limits coverage as to persons who would otherwise qualify as insureds for liability purposes . . . We conclude that the language in State Farm’s policy . . . violates Indiana’s uninsured motorist statute . . . Pursuant to IC 34-23-1-2, the Bushes are (1) persons insured under the policy; (2) legally entitled to recover damages because of the death of Leonard; and (3) legally entitled because the operator of the vehicle that caused Leonard’s death was uninsured.
ROBB, J., concurring.
BARNES, J., dissenting with separate opinion:  “I respectfully dissent. I am unable to conclude that Indiana’s Uninsured Motorist Statute requires coverage for the Bushes under these facts . . . “

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Bose McKinney & Evans LLP is a business law firm, headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, serving both publicly held and privately held businesses, governmental entities and high-growth industries. Our clients include Fortune 100 companies, international manufacturers, national and regional financial institutions, agribusinesses, sports teams, university-incubated start-ups, media, utilities, cities and schools, to name a few. We strive to build strong relationships with our clients as key business advisors, to exceed expectations in the quality of our work, to be knowledgeable about our clients’ businesses and sectors, to be responsive to service needs and to continually seek to improve the delivery of client services. Our ultimate focus is on our clients.
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