Rufener v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co

In Rufener v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 221 Wis. 2d 500, 585 N.W.2d 696 (Ct. App. 1998), the court of appeals concluded that the policy provided coverage when a man was injured while helping a friend install a hoist in his garage that would facilitate removal and reattachment of a salter/sander on a pickup truck the owner used in his part-time snowplowing business. In lieu of examining the activity for the "taint" of business pursuits, the court examined other factors such as the frequency of the activity in relation to the business pursuit and its closeness in time and place to the actual income-producing activity. The Court concluded that installation of the hoist was not an ordinary part of the business and was sufficiently separated in place and time from the income-producing activity that it should not be considered an activity that arises out of the insured's business pursuits. The court rejected the insurer's argument that the hoist had a predominantly business purpose, noting that the exception to the exclusion is only considered when there is a business pursuit, and broadly considering the business context would rob the exception of all effect. See id. at 511.