Case Caption: Camira Joseph v. Inter-Ocean Insurance Agency, Inc.Case Number: S. Ct. Civ. No. 2011-0111Date: 09/25/2013Author: Hodge, Rhys S. Citation: Summary:

In an insurance dispute, the Compulsory Automobile Liability Insurance Act-20 V.I.C. § 701 et seq.-is a statutory omnibus clause that supersedes and invalidates any conflicting policy provision, including the named driver exclusion in the automobile liability insurance policy at issue in the present case, which excluded liability coverage for anyone under the age of 25 operating the vehicle. That exclusion is invalid, and coverage must be extended for the compulsory policy limits, regardless of whether that driver may be excluded by the terms of the insurance policy. The insurer - which initially paid damage claims relating to an accident caused by a permissive user of the vehicle under age 25 - had no right to seek reimbursement from the named insured under equitable subrogation principles because subrogation can arise only with respect to the rights of an insured against third persons to whom the insurer owes no duty, and an insurer cannot recover by means of subrogation against its own insured. Nor can the insurer receive indemnification from the insured on a breach of contract theory. Accordingly, the Superior Court erred in granting the insurer's motion for summary judgment to the insurer.

Attachment: Open Document or Opinion