In some Maryland car accident cases, financial losses from personal injuries and property damage may be covered by more than one type of insurance policy. In a September 29, 2021 case, the question for the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland was whether the liability limits of an auto insurance policy and an umbrella insurance policy could be combined, despite the household exclusion contained therein.
The case arose out of a tragic car accident that seriously injured the plaintiff and claimed the lives of her parents and sibling. It occurred as plaintiff’s father was driving the family to a high school play. As he made a left turn, their vehicle was struck by a sedan traveling at approximately 115 miles per hour.
At the time of the accident, the plaintiff’s father had a primary auto liability policy and an umbrella liability policy issued by the insurance company named as the defendant in the case. The primary policy had a liability coverage limit of $500,000 for personal injuries and property damage for each accident. The umbrella policy had a coverage limit of $2 million in excess of the automobile liability coverage. The umbrella policy also contained a household exclusion provision, which stated that the policy did not cover claims for injuries to any person related to an insured by blood, marriage, or adoption residing in the household of the insured.