Specific-Purpose Rule Law and Legal Definition

Specific purpose rule is a principle of Insurance law that a non owner driver of a vehicle will be treated as an omnibus insured under the vehicle owner's liability coverage only if the driver's actual use of the vehicle at the time of the accident is the exact use that the owner contemplated when granting permission or consent to the non owner driver. Even slight deviations from restrictions specified or intended by the parties will preclude coverage as the permittee's use of the vehicle will be regarded as a conversion.

Specific purpose rule is also known as strict rule or conversion rule.

The following are examples of case law on specific-purpose rule :

Under the specific purpose rule the time when the bailment was to expire must not have passed; the place where the vehicle is used must be one either specified or contemplated by the parties; and the use made of the automobile at the time of the accident must be one either contemplated or specified. All these elements must be present in order for permission to exist. [James v. Aetna Life & Casualty, 546 P.2d 1146, 1148 (Ariz. Ct. App. 1976)]

Specific purpose rule, is concerned with whether the permittee was given general custody of the car or limited permission to use the car.[Byers v. Auto-Owners Ins. Co., 119 S.W.3d 659, 663 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003)]