Anderson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co

In Anderson v. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co., 133 Ariz. 464, 465, 652 P.2d 537, 538 (1982), the insured was rear-ended by a van while stopped at a traffic light. The van had been struck and pushed into the insured's car by a third vehicle. This third vehicle never came in direct contact with the insured's car and left the scene. Id. The court concluded that "the injuries were the result of physical (albeit indirect) contact with the hit-and-run vehicle," and that such indirect physical contact is sufficient to satisfy the physical contact requirement in a UM policy. Id. at 467, 652 P.2d at 540. In reaching its conclusion, the court explained that the requirement of physical contact was designed to prevent fraudulent claims, and that the "trend is to construe 'physical contact' broadly in order to effectuate the purposes of uninsured motorist protection." Id. The court further explained, "where force has been exerted from an unidentified vehicle through an intermediate object and where this fact may be verified in such a way to provide safeguards against fraud, we find that the physical contact requirement of the policy has been satisfied." Id.