A United States District Court judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently granted a motion for summary judgement by Defendant in a declaratory judgement and insurance bad faith action. In Moore v. USAA, Plaintiff alleged that she was making a delivery for Uber Eats when she was injured in an accident with an uninsured driver. The Court upheld Defendant’s ride-sharing exclusion and found that its enforcement was not bad faith as a matter of law. District Judge John Milton Younge found Plaintiff’s uninsured motorist loss was not a covered loss based on the Ride Share Exclusion included in USAA’s insurance Policy. Plaintiff argued that the exclusion was ambiguous and that she did not have notice of the claim. The Exclusion provided:


We do not provide coverage under this policy for accident or loss that occurs while any covered person is operating or occupying a vehicle engaged in ride sharing activity in conjunction with a Transportation Network Company …

This exclusion applies during the time the covered person is logged on to the Transportation Network Company’s online-enabled application or platform and available to accept a passenger or delivery assignment, whether or not a passenger or delivery assignment has been accepted. When a passenger or delivery assignment has been accepted, coverage is excluded while the passenger or property to be delivered is occupying your covered auto.

“Ride sharing activity” was defined in that section as “use of your covered auto to provide prearranged transportation of persons or property in conjunction with a Transportation

Network Company.  The Court held that “a plain reading of the language used in the Ride Share Exclusion in the context of the Policy as a whole establishes that no ambiguity exists” even though Defendant initially paid first party wage benefits.

In addition, Plaintiff argued she did not know the Policy contained a Ride Share Exclusion. The evidence upon which the Court dismissed Plaintiff’s lack of notice argument included Plaintiff’s admission that she had access and was able to use the insurers mobile application. Credible evidence established a copy of the Policy, including the Ride Sharing Exclusion, was accessible through the mobile application, but Plaintiff failed to read the Policy.

Plaintiff’s claim for statutory bad faith failed because Plaintiff’s uninsured motorist loss was not a covered loss by operation of the exclusion. Plaintiff failed to establish that Defendant did anything wrong when it applied the terms of the Ride Share Exclusion. The Court noted: “A plaintiff cannot prevail on a bad faith claim … where there is no breach of an underlying contractual obligation.”

For additional information, contact Martin Beck, Esq.

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