Janikowski v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co
In Janikowski v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 187 Wis. 2d 424, 523 N.W.2d 130 (Ct. App. 1994), Schmidt rented a car from National Car Rental in Illinois and gave Janikowski permission to drive it. See Janikowski, 187 Wis. 2d at 426.
While driving the car in Milwaukee, with his mother as a passenger, Janikowski was involved in an accident with an uninsured vehicle; his mother was injured. See id.
Janikowski's mother was insured by American Family Mutual Insurance Company, which paid her $ 25,000 under the uninsured motorist portion of her policy. See id.
American Family then sued National for indemnification. See id.
The circuit court granted summary judgment to National, concluding that the Illinois rental lease agreement did not constitute an insurance contract and, therefore, National was not required to provide Wisconsin uninsured motorist coverage. See id.
The Court affirmed
In doing so, however, the Court rejected the formulation of the issue as raised by American Family-"whether an out-of-state car rental lease agreement is an insurance policy requiring uninsured motorist coverage." See id. at 425.
Instead, the Court held that "whether or not an out-of-state lease agreement is an insurance policy is irrelevant because, under Wis. Stat. 344.52 and 632.32, ... a self-insuring out-of-state rental car agency is not required to provide uninsured motorist coverage." See Janikowski, 187 Wis. 2d at 425-26.