ARI Mutual Ins. Co. v. Jorge, — N.J. Super. – (App Div. 2011)

Practice Areas: First Party, Insurance Coverage and Bad Faith

In this coverage suit, The defendant Jorge appealed from the denial of his motion for summary judgment and the grant of Summary Judgment to the carrier represented by this office.  Antonio Jorge as an individual, was the sole owner of Zina Trucking, Inc.  In applying for the policy in question, the application listed the “named insured and other named insured” as “Antonio Jorge dba Zina Trucking”  However, under the applicant’s name, a box was checked designating the applicant as a “corporation”.  In the “Business Auto Section” of the application, the applicant was listed as “Zina Trucking, Inc.”  Accordingly, ARI issued a policy with “Zina Trucking, Inc” as the named insured.  There was no request by Jorge to change that designation.  The policy had a $1 Million Dollar Uninsured Motorist limit, but it also had a step-down clause which provided that if an insured person, other than the named insured, made claim, that coverage would “step-down” to the limits of the covered person’s own policy, here $100,000.  The Court agreed with this office in upholding the validity of the step-down clause and in finding that the policy was clear, Jorge individually would have no reasonable expectation otherwise, and that Jorge did not object until after the fact

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