In finding that the underinsured endorsement for automobile insurance did not cover injuries incurred when plaintiff was bitten by a dog through the window of a car as she walked past, the Second Department explained:
Use of an automobile encompasses more than simply driving it, and includes all necessary incidental activities such as entering and leaving its confines … . To satisfy the requirement that it arose out of the “ownership, maintenance or use of” a motor vehicle, the accident must have arisen out of the inherent nature of the automobile and, as such, inter alia, the automobile must not merely contribute to the condition which produces the injury, but must, itself, produce the injury … . “[T]he vehicle itself need not be the proximate cause of the injury,” but “negligence in the use of the vehicle must be shown, and that negligence must be a cause of the injury” … . “To be a cause of the injury, the use of the motor vehicle must be closely related to the injury” … .
Here, as a matter of law, Reyes’s injuries did not result from the inherent nature of Kazimer’s vehicle, nor did the vehicle itself produce the injuries. The injuries were caused by Kazimer’s dog, and the vehicle merely contributed to the condition which produced the injury, namely, the location or situs for the injury. Allstate established that a causal relationship between the car and the incident was lacking, and Reyes failed to rebut that showing … . Matter of Allstate Ins Co v Reyes, 2013 NY Slip Op 05566, 2nd Dept 8-7-13