A view from inside of a car as pedestrians cross the road in front of them. In this case, a teenage boy was hit by a car while riding his bike, and the boy’s father sought UM benefits for his son as a “relative” under the father’s Direct Auto policy. (Credit: ambrozinio/Shutterstock.com)

The Appellate Court of Illinois ruled against an auto insurance carrier who denied two separate claims for coverage because the injured parties were not physically inside an insured auto at the time of the accidents. The case is called Galarza v. Direct Auto Ins. Co., 2022 Ill. App. LEXIS 421 (Ill. App. Ct. 2022). 

This case consolidated two appeals from separate cases that both involved Direct Auto. However, each case was based on nearly-identical policy language that excluded uninsured motorist (UM) coverage for pedestrians struck by a hit-and-run vehicle because a pedestrian, by definition, cannot occupy a covered vehicle. 



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