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Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Weaver

Court of Appeals of Indiana

March 1, 2019

Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company, Appellant-Plaintiff,
v.
John Weaver, Sunday Vanzile, Bryan Vanzile, and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Appellees-Defendants.

          Appeal from the Tippecanoe Superior Court The Honorable Randy J. Williams, Judge Trial Court Cause No. 79D01-1708-CT-127

          Attorneys for Appellant Dale W. Eikenberry Elizabeth S. Schmitt Wooden McLaughlin LLP Indianapolis, Indiana

          Attorneys for Appellees Cary J. Solida State Farm Litigation Counsel Indianapolis, Indiana

          BRADFORD, JUDGE.

         Case Summary

         [¶1] In August of 2015, John Weaver was driving a vehicle which he owned and which was insured by Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company ("Indiana Farmers") when he lost control and drove it into the home of Bryan and Sunday Vanzile ("the Vanziles"). Indiana Farmers sought a declaratory judgment that it had no duty to provide coverage to Weaver, who was driving with a suspended driver's license, pursuant to the terms of the insurance contract (" the Policy"), specifically under the exclusions provision ("Entitlement Exclusion"). In 2018, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company ("State Farm"), joined by the Vanziles (collectively "Appellees"), moved for summary judgment, and Indiana Farmers moved for summary judgment as well. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of the Appellees and denied Indiana Farmers's motion. Indiana Farmers contends that the trial court erred in denying its cross-motion for summary judgment because the Entitlement Exclusion excluded Weaver from coverage while driving with a suspended driver's license. Because we disagree, we affirm.

         Facts and Procedural History

         [¶2] On August 29, 2015, Weaver lost control of his vehicle and drove into the residence of the Vanziles, causing bodily injury and property damage. Weaver's driver's license was suspended at the time. Weaver's vehicle had been insured since March 11, 2015, by Indiana Farmers under the Policy, which provided, in relevant part:

Part A - Liability Coverage
Insuring Agreement
A. We will pay damages for "bodily injury" or "property damage" for which any "insured" becomes legally responsible because of an auto accident[…]We will settle or defend, as we consider appropriate, any claim or suit asking for these damages[…]We have no duty to defend any suit or settle any claim for "bodily injury" or "property damage" not covered under this policy.
B. "Insured" as used in this Part means:
1. You or any "family member" for the ownership, maintenance or use of any auto or ...

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