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General Casualty Company of Wisconsin v. Outdoor Concepts

August 12, 2003

GENERAL CASUALTY COMPANY OF WISCONSIN, APPELLANT,
v.
OUTDOOR CONCEPTS, ET AL., RESPONDENTS.



Washington County District Court File No. C3022684

Considered and decided by Schumacher, Presiding Judge, Randall, Judge, and Kalitowski, Judge.

SYLLABUS BY THE COURT

1. A commercial automobile insurance policy that lists the named insured as a trade name provides insurance coverage for the sole proprietor as an individual.

2. Respondent-Ebertz is not an "insured" for purposes of Minnesota's anti-stacking provision because the Allstate policy issued in Wisconsin is not a "plan of reparation security," as defined in Minn. Stat. § 65B.43, subd. 15 (2002).

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kalitowski, Judge

Affirmed; Motion Granted

OPINION

On appeal from summary judgment, appellant contends that (1) respondent Joe Ebertz was not an "insured" under a commercial automobile policy issued to "Outdoor Concepts Joe Ebertz DBA"; and (2) Ebertz made an election within the meaning of Minn. Stat. §á65B.49, subd. 3a(5) (2002), and is precluded from recovering Personal Injury Protection or Underinsured Motorist benefits under his commercial policy or from otherwise stacking coverage.

FACTS

On August 25, 2001, respondent Joe Ebertz was riding his bicycle on a country road north of his home in Hudson, Wisconsin, when he was struck head-on by a pickup truck driven by an underinsured motorist. Following the accident, Ebertz settled his claims against the underinsured motorist for $50,000, the liability limit under the motorist's policy.

At the time of the accident, respondent and his wife were insured under a personal automobile insurance policy issued by Allstate Insurance Company pursuant to the laws of Wisconsin. In June 2002, respondent settled with Allstate for $50,000 in Underinsured Motorist benefits (UIM) for damages incurred in the accident.

Ebertz also insured the vehicles used in his landscaping business, Outdoor Concepts, under a commercial automobile policy obtained through his insurance agent in Minnesota. The agent completed an application with appellant, listing the applicant as "Outdoor Concepts Joe Ebertz DBA," and applied for no-fault coverage and $250,000 in UIM coverage. Appellant prepared a declarations page for the commercial automobile policy, listing the named insured as "Outdoor Concepts Joe Ebertz DBA."

The commercial automobile policy contained an endorsement entitled "Minnesota Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists Coverage," which stated that appellant will pay all sums the "insured" is legally entitled to recover as compensatory damages from the owner or driver of an underinsured motor vehicle. The endorsement defined "insured" as follows:

B. WHO IS AN INSURED

1. You.

2. If you are an individual, any ...


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