Klatt v. Zera

In Klatt v. Zera, 11 Wis. 2d 415, 105 N.W.2d 776 (1960), John Lang sponsored his son Jerome's drivers license. Although John carried automobile insurance for his own car, Jerome got into an accident while driving a car owned by another. See id. at 418. John's policy provided coverage for "all sums for which the insured shall become legally obligated to pay" caused by an accident "and arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use" of the covered automobile. Id. The policy also had a "Use of Other Automobiles" clause, providing that the coverage provided for the car named in the policy "applies with respect to any other automobile." 11 Wis. 2d at 418-19. The supreme court held that liability for Jerome's accident was imputed to John under the sponsorship statute. See id. at 422. It concluded that the policy covered John for this liability because the policy contained no language restricting who must be the operator of the other vehicle for the "Use of Other Automobiles" clause to apply. See 11 Wis. 2d at 422-23. Finally, the court concluded that the policy's exclusion of coverage for liability assumed by contract or agreement did not apply to liability imposed by the sponsorship statute. See id. at 424. The policy did not contain any language excluding coverage for the type of accident in which Jerome was involved. The policy provided coverage to John since he was liable for the damages Jerome caused under the sponsorship statute. I