Georgia Court Upholds Unlisted Household Resident Exclusion
The Georgia Court of Appeals recently upheld the validity of an unlisted household resident exclusion in an auto policy and reiterated its prior position that public policy considerations will render otherwise valid exclusions invalid only in limited situations. In Kovacs v. Cornerstone Nat’l Ins. Co., the insured’s son, driving a vehicle covered under the policy, was involved in an accident with a pedestrian. The policy application required that the mother list all household residents 15 years of age or older. Id. at *1. Despite the fact that the son was a resident of the mother’s household over the age of 15, she did not list him on the application. Id.
The policy contained an exclusion for claims arising from a loss involving a vehicle being operated by a “household resident who, at the time of the application, was not listed on the application but who operated a vehicle listed on the application.” Id. at *4. The Georgia Court of Appeals reiterated its previous holdings that exclusions in auto policies are valid if supported by consideration and held that the “clear and unambiguous exclusion barred coverage for [the] accident.” Id.
The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that coverage should be afforded because the plaintiff had no medical insurance to cover bills incurred as a result of the accident. Id. at *5. The court concluded that because the plaintiff was struck by a driver “whose use of the insured vehicle was…uncovered under the unlisted driver’s exclusion,” public policy did not warrant enlarging coverage. Id.