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New Case Law: Who is Considered a “Household Member” for Insurance Coverage?

Many personal insurance policies provide for coverage for the policyholder's household members. But who justifies "household"? The Massachusetts Court of Appeal recently addressed this issue.

In the case of Oliveira v. Commerce Insurance Company, the applicant submitted a claim to the insurer to obtain coverage, "a member of the household" insurance virtue, which was held by mother and stepfather. his longtime partner with whom he had a child. To resolve this issue, the Court had to check what the term "member of the household" meant, and more specifically, whether the term "blood-induced" contained two persons who had no blood relationship with each other, but each had a blood relationship with a third person

the applicant was concerned with serious in a car accident which was traveling in the third party driver in the vehicle. The applicant suffered serious injuries requiring hospitalization, long-term disability and significant damage. The applicant adopted the solution with third-party driver's insurance company, but also tried to get the extra damages her partner with her mother and stepfather on the basis of an insurance policy. He lived with his long-time partner in one family with his mother and his stepfather. The applicant was not married to his partner, but they had a little boy together

The policy in question covered two vehicles that were used by the plaintiff's residents to "compensate for injuries that were injured or died due to a particular accident due to lack of insurance". The policy also included the concept of "a household member" who was "anyone who lives in your household and who is linked to you by blood, marriage, or adoption." This includes churches, stairs or foster children. 'The insurer denied the applicant's claim and stated that he did not meet the definition of' household member 'within the policy framework.

The claimant filed a claim in the Superior Court for breach of contract and a proclaiming proclamation that the applicant would be a "member of the household". The judge admitted the insurer's summary decision by stating that the plaintiff was not in contact with the blood for both policyholders and was therefore not a "member of the household" and was not entitled to the claim. T

The Court of Appeal upheld the trial judgment in which it was the defendant. “In the usual and ordinary sense, the term“ associated with blood ”refers to the genetic relationship between two people allegedly related to each other,” the Court explained. 'In this case, there is no genetic relationship between the applicant and the policyholders; rather, the applicant claims that both the applicant and one of the policyholders have a genetic relationship with the applicant's child… the applicant requires an expanded definition of "blood." However, the addition of "language", "families with children" or "families with children", to the members of the household, clearly indicates that "related to. to add these people to the definition of 'household member'.

The Court also removed this case from two previous cases where the definition of "member of the household" was extended to include persons who were similarly established with the applicant, but these cases concerned the limitation of the provisions if the intention of the legislature was stated by the Court. “We do not interpret the legislative language in the best way to achieve the legislator's purpose. Instead, we have to apply the usual and ordinary meanings to the words "associated with blood". These words represent a genetic relationship, and it is undeniable that the plaintiff does not have any one of the policyholders, ”the Court explained. "As the Supreme Court judge, on the basis of undisputed facts, correctly concluded that the plaintiff was not 'policyholders' in the ordinary and ordinary sense of the policyholder, the judge gave the insurer an appropriate summary."

If you have any questions about for car accidents or other injuries, please contact a competent lawyer who is authorized to practice in Massachusetts. Experienced professionals can work for you. Contact the office as soon as possible by phone at 978-225-9030 or fill out the contact form on our website and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

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