Washington Law Review




Plaintiff was seriously injured when an automobile in which she was a passenger collided with another vehicle driven by an uninsured operator. Plaintiff's automobile insurance policy, issued by defendant, included coverage for bodily injury caused by uninsured motorists. Excluded from this coverage, however, was injury sustained in an automobile not owned by plaintiff, if the owner had "similar insurance" which was available to plaintiff. The owner of the automobile in which plaintiff was injured also carried insurance containing uninsured motorist coverage. His policy, written by another company, contained a pro rata clause restricting coverage to a proportionate share of the loss if the insured had other similar insurance available. Being an "insured" by definition, plaintiff received the maximum payment under the latter policy, but defendant denied liability because of its policy's exclusion. Plaintiff sought a judgment declaring that defendant's policy be interpreted to provide primary insurance coverage or, in the alternative, excess coverage over and above any other available insurance. The trial court dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the Washington Supreme Court affirmed. Held: Availability of an insurance policy containing a pro rata clause effectuates the escape clause of another policy which denies coverage or liability if other similar insurance is available. Miller v. Allstate Ins. Co., 66 Wash. Dec. 2d 857, 405 P.2d 712 (1965).

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