Vehicles Principally Garaged definition

Posted Tuesday, June 28, 2011 by Ed Harper

Some cases have articulated this to mean what was the parties intention regarding the actual location of the vehicle in the state. If the insured intends to keep the vehicle in another state during the policy period, and does keep the vehicle in another state, the policy likely should be written for that particular state. The courts have also looked to the primary location for the vehicle, not the the location of the vehicle at the time of the origination of the policy.

Insurance laws in the State of Washington may be more advantageous to a claimant
Some examples included: Washington requires personal injury protection to be offered for at the minimum limits of $10,000 unless a signed waiver is produced. Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverage must be the equivalent of the liability limits for the insured person unless a signed waiver is produced. The Uninsured and Underinsured motorist coverages stack on top of the at-fault driver’s insurance, thus providing the maximum benefit possible.
Benefits to a claimant for UIM coverages to stack on top of third-party claims

Recently, we were able to obtain the UIM limits for a Washington resident who was driving his girlfriend’s vehicle which was registered in Oregon and insured as if the vehicle was in Oregon. We pursued the claim against the insurance company and made the claim under Washington Law. This allowed us to obtain the mandatory minimum UIM limits of $25,000 under Washington Law as this vehicle had been garaged here for more than 2 1/2 years. If the insurance company had been allowed to, they would have denied the claim as under the Oregon policy, the UIM limits disappear if not greater than the underlying third-party limits.
Insurance Fair Conduct Act of Washington – “IFCA”

IFCA allows a first-party claimant to bring a cause of action against his or her insurance company for unfair insurance claims practices. The insured may bring an action in the superior court of this state to recover the actual damage sustained, together with the costs of the action, including reasonable attorneys’ fees and litigation costs. Treble damages may also be provided to increase the total award of damages to an amount not to exceed three times the actual damages.
Additional Resources

RCW 48.22.030
RCW 48.30.015
WAC 284-30-330
Thiringer v. American Motors Ins. Co. 91 Wn.2d 215
Blair v. State Farm 269 Neb. 874
Chalef v. Ryerson 277 N.J.Super. 22

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