Supreme Court of New Jersey Struck Down "Strike-Down" Provision in Auto Dealer Policy
An insurance industry word to the wise on the limits to be applied in future cases if such escape clauses are used to restrict coverage.
Statutory legislation and administrative regulations, all as construed by our courts, have over the decades promulgated, and interpreted, insurance coverage as an instrument of social good. Coverage afforded by policies of insurance can act as an effective instrument to underwrite the safety net of public policy. Our statutory system reflects innumerable examples of this. The entire law governing automobile liability and payment, resulting from auto injuries, is based on policy mandates which will afford appropriate levels of protection.
This brings us to a recent New Jersey Supreme Court decision which interprets a coverage required by liability policies to serve these ends. In Huggins v. Aquilar, the court had before it a disputed coverage policy provision that attempted to introduce conditions on an insuring agreement. The court held it illegal to use such a tactic to evade legislative requirements, in this instance for automobile dealerships, set by the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) for the protection of the public.
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