Is the Term 'Arising Out Of' Ambiguous ?

In Hagen v. Aetna Cas. & Sur. Co., 675 So. 2d 963, 965 (Fla. 5th DCA 1996), the Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the term "arising out of" was unambiguous and "is broader in meaning than the term 'caused by' and means 'originating from,' 'having its origin in,' 'growing out of,' 'flowing from,' 'incident to' or 'having a connection with.'" Id. at 965 (citing Nat'l Indem. Co. v. Corbo, 248 So. 2d 238 (Fla. 3d DCA 1971)); See also: Allstate Ins. Co. v. Safer, 317 F. Supp. 2d 1345, 1350 n.4, 1354 (M.D. Fla. 2004) (finding that the phrase "arising out of" in an exclusionary clause was not ambiguous); Ohio Cas. Ins. Co. v. Cont'l Cas. Co., 279 F. Supp. 2d 1281, 1284 (S.D. Fla. 2003) ("The language "arising out of" is not ambiguous. . . . 'Arising out of' are words of much broader significance then sic 'caused by.'") (quoting Corbo, 248 So. 2d at 240); Am. Sur. & Cas. Co. v. Lake Jackson Pizza, Inc., 788 So. 2d 1096, 1099 (Fla. 1st DCA 2001) (noting that "the term 'arising out of' is not ambiguous"). One Florida case, however, has found the "arising out of" language ambiguous. In Westmoreland v. Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Co., 704 So. 2d 176 (Fla. 4th DCA 1997), the Fourth District interpreted a policy that excluded claims for "'bodily injury' . . . arising out of the ownership, maintenance, use, loading or unloading of motor vehicles." Id. at 178. The Court noted that the term "arising out of" was not defined and stated that "where a critical term is not defined in an exclusionary clause of the policy, it will be liberally construed in favor of an insured." Id. at 180. the court found the policy ambiguous and defined "arising out of" to require a showing of proximate causation. The Fourth District has since clarified, however, that the ambiguity found in the Westmoreland policy was a product of the "arising out of" language combined with other policy language. See Estate of Bombolis v. Cont'l Cas. Co.,740 So. 2d 1229, 1230 (Fla. 4th DCA 1999).