YOU BE THE JUDGE
Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Co. issued two policies to Michael McKenzie. Each required that the insured own the covered vehicle. Neither policy defined "owned." Michael submitted claims on each policy based upon the theft of his truck. It is undisputed that the stolen vehicle was designated as the insured vehicle and that Michael had paid the policies' premiums.
A month before the theft, McKenzie had filed a transfer of title document with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) ostensibly transferring title of the insured vehicle to his already deceased father. After filing that transfer document, McKenzie retained use and possession of the vehicle.
Liberty denied coverage claiming that Michael did not own the vehicle. An LA judge agreed and dismissed the claim.
Were Liberty and the judge right?
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