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The first question in this appeal, which counsel advises is one of first impression, is whether or not the bulldozer is a vehicle within the meaning of the policy. This question must be determined in the light of the well established rule in New Hampshire that "in construing an insurance contract the test is not what the insurance company intended the words to mean but what a reasonable person in the position of the insured would have understood them to mean." Hoyt v. Insurance Company, 92 N.H. 242, 243. The definition of a vehicle used in the policy is not a restricted one but defendant maintains that the definition would convey to the common mind (Watson v. Insurance Company, 83 N.H., 200, 202), only mechanical contrivances whose primary function is the transportation of persons or property from place to place. The plaintiff relies on the early case of Emerson Co. v. Pearson, 74 N.H. 22, holding that a traction engine is a vehicle and the recent case of American Mut &c. Ins. Co. v. Chaput, 95 N.H. 200, holding that a tractor with alterations permitting it to be used as a shovel or loader was an automobile. Since these two cases were construed in relation to statutes regulating the safety of highways, it is fairer to both insurer and insured that they should not be determinative of the present question.

GENRE
Professional & Technical
RELEASED
1979
April 17
LANGUAGE
EN
English
LENGTH
7
Pages
PUBLISHER
LawApp Publishers
SIZE
59.2
KB

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