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Generally speaking, the “minor deviation” rule eliminates liability insurance for a vehicle when it is used by someone whose use at the time of the accident substantially deviated in purpose, place, and time from the permitted use. The “initial permission” rule provides that once permission to use an insured vehicle is given in the first instance, any subsequent deviation is wholly immaterial and will not defeat coverage except where the deviation from the permitted use rises to the level of “theft or conversion.” The Supreme Court of Maine has just decided a case in which it had to determine which of these rules applied. 

The Case 

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