The Oklahoma Supreme Court held that an exchange student was a “ward” of a host family under the host family’s automobile policy for coverage under the medical payments and UM coverage provisions. Serra v. Estate of Broughton, 2015 OK 82, 364 P.3d 637 (2015).
An exchange student injured while a passenger in a friend’s car made a claim under her host family’s automobile policy under the UM and medical payments provisions. The claim was denied, and the student sued. The policy did not define the term “ward,” and the Oklahoma Supreme Court held that, under Oklahoma case law, a ward may be someone who lives with a family under their care and protection, following their rules, and looking to the family for care and protection instead of being under her own care. This was despite the fact that the exchange student only lived with the family a few weeks, turned 18 before coming to the United States and her parents were required to obtain health and accident insurance for her while she was in the United States.