United States District Court, N.D. Indiana
OPINION AND ORDER
THERESA L. SPRINGMANN CHIEF JUDGE
Janie Kweicinski was working in the course and scope of her
employment with the United States Postal Service (USPS) as a
rural postal carrier when she was rear-ended by another
vehicle. The Plaintiff filed a lawsuit against the driver of
that vehicle and sought underinsured motorist coverage from
her auto insurance provider, Defendant Illinois Farmers
Insurance Company. When the Defendant denied the claim, the
Plaintiff filed this action for breach of contract and bad
faith. The Defendant has moved for summary judgment,
asserting that a “regular use” exclusion within
the policy of insurance precludes coverage for the USPS
vehicle, and that the Defendant's well-reasoned position
related to coverage cannot support a claim for bad faith.
October 7, 2014, the Plaintiff was driving her normal route
as a letter carrier, the same route she had been driving for
nine years, six days a week. She had also been driving the
same USPS vehicle for between six and seven years. In the
course of delivering the mail, another vehicle hit her USPS
truck from behind and she suffered personal injuries.
time of the accident, the Plaintiff had an auto insurance
policy with the Defendant. Part II of the policy provided
certain coverage for bodily injury sustained in an accident
with an uninsured motor vehicle. The policy included an
Endorsement Adding Regular and Frequent Use Exclusion to Part
It is agreed that the following exclusion is added to the
Exclusions under Part II of your policy.
Uninsured Motorist Coverage (and Underinsured Motorist
Coverage if applicable) does not apply to
damages arising out of the ownership,
maintenance, or use of any vehicle other than your
insured car . . . which is owned by or furnished or
available for the regular use by you or a family
(ECF No. 17-3 at 31.) The Liability portion of the policy, Part
I, contained a similar provision, which declared that
coverage did not apply to “[b]odily
injury or property damage arising
out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any vehicle other
than your insured car, which is owned by or
furnished or available for regular use by you or a
family member.” (ECF No. 17-3 at 10.)
the accident, the Plaintiff sought coverage under Part II of
the policy. The Defendant denied coverage for the
Plaintiff's bodily injuries, and the Plaintiff filed
suit. In the first count, the Plaintiff seeks coverage under
a breach of contract theory. In the second count, the
Plaintiff asserts that the Defendant denied her claim in bad
faith. The Defendant removed this action to federal court on
the basis of diversity jurisdiction, and moved for summary
Standard of Review
Judgment is appropriate when the record before the Court
establishes that there is “no genuine dispute as to any
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). Disputes concerning
material facts are genuine where the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the non-moving
party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S.
242, 248 (1986). In deciding whether genuine issues of
material fact exist, the Court construes all facts in a light
most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all
reasonable inferences in favor of the non-moving party.
Id. at 255.
deciding issues of insurance coverage, the Court must apply
Indiana law for contract interpretation. Allstate Ins.
Co. v. Keca, 368 F.3d 793, 796 (7th Cir. 2004) (“A
federal court sitting in diversity has the obligation to
apply the law of the state as it believes the highest court
of the state would apply it if presented with the
issue.”); State Farm Mut. Auto Ins. Co. v.
Pate, 275 F.3d 666, 669 (7th Cir. 2001) (“When the
state Supreme Court has not decided the issue, the rulings of
the state intermediate appellate courts must be accorded
great weight, unless there are persuasive indications that
the state's highest court would decide the case
differently.”). An insurance contract
“is subject to the same rules of interpretation as are
other contracts.” Morris v. Econ. Fire & Cas.
Co., 848 N.E.2d 663, 666 (Ind. 2006) (citing USA
Life One Ins. Co. of Ind. v. Nuckolls, 682 N.E.2d 534,
537-38 (Ind. 1997)). As with other contracts, the
interpretation of an insurance contract is a question of law.
Cinergy Corp. v. Associated Elec. & Gas Ins.
Servs., 865 N.E.2d 571, 574 (Ind. 2007).