“Family Member” in Auto Policy Does Not Include Foster Children Living With Insured

Alfa Mutual Ins. Co. v. Warren, etc., et al., [Ms. 1210008, Sep. 30, 2022] __ So. 3d __ (Ala. 2022). In a Rule 5 permissive appeal, the Court (Wise, J.; Parker, C.J., and Bolin, Shaw, Bryan, Sellers, Mendheim, Stewart, and Mitchell, JJ., concur) reverses the Morgan Circuit Court’s denial of Alfa’s motion for summary judgment in a case seeking UIM benefits for minor children under their foster parents’ automobile insurance policy.

The Court concludes “Warren’s three minor children, who were primarily residing with their foster parents at the time of the accident, were not covered insureds because they did not fall within the definition of ‘family member’ under their foster parents’ policy. To read the definition of “family member” as including foster children who temporarily reside with an insured would rewrite Alfa’s policy to expand UIM coverage to unintended beneficiaries.” Ms. *16. The Court further holds “[w]e do not find anything in Alabama’s UIM statute or any other provision of Alabama law that specifically requires that Alfa extend its definition of ‘family member’ for purposes of UIM coverage to include foster children who temporarily reside with an insured. Cf. Va. Code Ann. § 38.2-2206.B.1 (defining ‘insured’ to include foster children). In addition, we do not find that Alfa’s definition of ‘family member’ violates public policy.” Ms.**18-19.

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