Is a Scooter a Vehicle? Appeals Court Says ‘Yes’ and State Farm Must Pay UM Claim
State Farm must pay an uninsured motorist claim for injuries caused by an electric motor scooter even though the scooter didn’t match the definition of “motor vehicle” in Florida statutes, a panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
The panel reversed a US District Court decision to grant summary judgment in favor of the insurer. It rejected State Farm’s argument that it offered uninsured motorist coverage only for accidents caused by motor vehicles that conform to definitions in the state Financial Responsibility Law or uninsured motorist statute
“Certainly, Florida courts may incorporate statutory limitations and requirements into an insurance contract to determine a parties’ contractual rights, but the FRL and UM statute prescribe only the minimum requirements,” the opinion says. “Because State Farm has not defined the term ‘uninsured motor vehicle’ in a way that fails to comply with the FRL or UM statute, we see no reason to redefine a policy term by incorporating a statutory definition.”