Duran v. Hartford Ins. Co

In Duran v. Hartford Ins. Co. 160 Ariz. 223, 772 P.2d 577 (1989), the plaintiff was a passenger in her grandmother's vehicle, driven by her brother, a permissive user. The automobile was involved in a single vehicle roll-over and the plaintiff sustained serious injuries. Duran, 160 Ariz. at 223, 772 P.2d at 577 (1989). Following the incident, the insurer, after paying the plaintiff the full limits of the grandmother's liability policy, refused additional payment from the grandmother's UIM coverage. Id. The rejection was partially based, as here, on a definitional exclusion of the insured vehicle from the UIM coverage. Duran, 160 Ariz. at 223-24, 772 P.2d at 577-78 (1989). The Duran court upheld the UIM exclusion, explaining that "when an allegation of being 'underinsured' is predicated on the amount of liability insurance in the same policy that provides the UIM insurance under which the claim is made . . . the underinsured coverage may not be 'stacked' so as to in effect increase the liability coverage purchased by the named insured." Id. The court further reasoned that nothing in A.R.S. 20-259.01 "suggests any legislative intent to allow an injured passenger to 'stack' liability and UIM coverage so as to, in effect, increase the named insured's liability coverage." Duran, 160 Ariz. at 224, 772 P.2d at 578 (1989). Finally, the court limited its holding, applying it to instances with one tortfeasor and one policy. Id.