Ana Reyes was driving when she allegedly injured a woman and killed her four-year-old son. In the lawsuit that followed, Reyes’ insurance company argued it had no duty to defend Reyes or pay the victims. American Access insurance listed Reyes as the policyholder, but it also excluded her from her own policy, and made another man the primary driver.
The company’s lawyer, Keely Hillison, argues there are good reasons to allow this kind of arrangement.
“These exclusions are needed, so that families can get car insurance by excluding an unsafe or unqualified member of the family, who would otherwise prohibit an insurer from issuing a policy, or (would) make it cost-prohibitive.”
But the Illinois Supreme Court disagrees, ruling that a lone policyholder cannot be excluded from her own policy. The court says protecting the driving public is more important than making sure people can get lower-cost insurance.