ATV Used to Check Cattle and Fences May Not Be A Motor Vehicle For Insurance Purposes.

The defendant insurance company filed this declaratory judgment action seeking a determination that it's "motor vehicle" exclusion in a farm insurance policy applied to bar coverage for the plaintiff, a farmer that had purchased the policy for coverage for his farm.  The plaintiff had been sued by a third party for injuries that the third party's granddaughter sustained while driving the plaintiff's all-terrain vehicle (ATV).   The plaintiff owned a farm on which he has cattle.   The plaintiff used the ATV daily to check the cattle and fences.  The ATV was designed to be used off-road.  The plaintiff's 14 year old daughter and her 14 year old friend (the third party's granddaughter) asked to use the ATV, but the plaintiff refused to give permission because he was not going to be home.  However, the girls found the keys and took the ATV for a ride on a public road resulting in the injuries to the granddaughter.  The third party sued the plaintiff for negligence, and the plaintiff asked the defendant to provide the defense and pay the third party's claim.  The policy excluded coverage for bodily injury arising from the use of a "motor vehicle."   However, the exclusionary clause did not apply to farm implements operated on public roads or "mobile equipment."       The trial court ruled in favor of the defendant, finding that the ATV did not qualify as either a farm implement or mobile equipment.  On appeal, the court reversed determining that the policy language of "mobile equipment" could reasonably be construed to provide coverage for the ATV accident.  Partin, et al. v. Georgia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company, No. A14A2025, 2015 Ga. App. LEXIS 213 (Ga. Ct. App. Mar. 27, 2015). 

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