California Cas. Ins. Co. v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co
In California Cas. Ins. Co. v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., (2004), 208 Ariz. 416, 94 P.3d 616, an Arizona Court of Appeals was asked to interpret similar policy language.
The case involved two different policies. One was a homeowner's policy and one was for rental property. A tenant who owned a dog asked her landlord to briefly watch the dog in the landlord's home. While there, the dog bit a postal carrier.
The postal carrier sued the landlord and the landlord's homeowner's insurance carrier paid a settlement to the postal carrier.
The landlord's insurance carrier then sought reimbursement from the tenant's insurance carrier based on the language in the tenant's policy that defined "insured premises" to mean the rented apartment and "any premises you use in connection with" the rented apartment.
The landlord's insurance carrier argued that by asking the landlord to watch her dog, the tenant was using the landlord's premises in connection with her apartment.
The Arizona court disagreed. Citing the dictionary, the court noted that the common definition of the word connection is a link, an association or a relationship.
The court determined that dog-sitting was not a substantial enough connection for purposes of the policy. The court concluded that the tenant may have used the landlord's house in connection with her dog but not in connection with her apartment.
The court further stated:
"In determining whether premises are used 'in connection with' insured premises, courts generally consider the proximity of the premises, the type of use of the premises, and the purpose of the insurance policy as a whole. See, e.g., United Servs. Auto. Ass'n v. Parry, 158 Ariz. 83, 86, 761 P.2d 157, Hudnell v. Allstate Ins. Co., 190 Ariz. 52, 55, 945 P.2d 363." California Cas. Ins. Co. v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co., supra at 419.