It seems that 15 minutes or more could get you $5.2 million from an auto insurance company. Last October I covered for Forbes how a woman “demanded $1 million from GEICO” after getting hot and heavy in a Hyundai, reportedly left her with HPV. In this case, HPV stood for human papilloma virus, not Hyundai-produced virus, because she allegedly got this sexually transmitted disease (STD) from a human partner in the car and not from the car itself. Cars don’t usually give you STIs no matter what you say to your partner. Nevertheless, the Jackson County Circuit Court awarded this woman, a resident of Jackson County, Missouri, a $5.2 million settlement that GEICO, the auto insurance company, would have to pay. And recently, the Missouri Court of Appeals upheld this settlement decision.
This was not your typical boy meets girl meets car meets HPV romcom story. As described in my previous article and court documents from the District of Kansas, in November 2017, the woman, referred to as MO in court documents, met for allegedly more than 15 minutes with MB, who owned a 2014 Hyundai Genesis. That car served as the Genesis for what happened next. Over the following weeks, they had sex in the car several times. The sex involved having unprotected sex, ie without barrier protection such as condoms and not without car insurance. MB had two GEICO insurance policies: a Kansas Family Automobile Insurance Policy with the Hyundai Genesis and an umbrella policy. As I wrote earlier, the umbrella policy was personal liability insurance that was supposed to cover all claims beyond his car insurance and not insurance specifically for lost umbrellas.
How did this become an STD in a Hyundai situation? Well, apparently MB had already been diagnosed with HPV positive throat cancer before she did the uh oh with MO. She claimed that MB had not revealed his diagnosis, which allowed them to continue having unprotected sex. If you’re wondering what the mouth or throat has to do with sex, you may need to start having sex again. About a year after those roles in the hey watch out for that gear stick, MO was diagnosed with anogenital HPV during a routine gynecological exam in November 2018, according to court documents.
Anogenital is a combination of the words anus and genital, a bit like how athleisure is the combination of athleticism and leisure. HPV can infect cells that line the surface of your mouth, throat, vulva, vagina, cervix, anus, or penis. What do all these body parts have in common, except bad things to get caught in a closing door? They can all be heavily involved in different types of sex. And such sexual contact can in turn transmit the virus. Such an infection can not only cause lesions such as warts, but can also lead to malignant lesions such as cervical cancer or anal cancer in those areas.
So what was MO’s approach to getting reparations for that diagnosis? Despite seemingly no geckos being involved, MO sent GEICO a letter on Feb. 25, 2021 stating, “Here is the petition to be filed against your insured, [M.B.]† Before doing this, we are authorized to make one last attempt to resolve the issue: [M.O.’s] claims against your insured up to the applicable limits of $1 million. Let me know.” Later in 2021, MO and MB, with the help of an arbitrator, reached an agreement that MO would get $5.2 million with one big catch: GEICO would be liable for the bulk of the amount instead of MB The Jackson County Circuit Court then upheld this arbitration award, and GEICO appealed, eventually upholding the Circuit Court’s settlement decision through a panel of three judges, by the Missouri Court of Appeals, not exactly as easy a caveman could do. GEICO now appears to be on the hook for $5.2 million.
While sex in a car can put you at greater risk of getting a steering wheel imprint on your butt, this alone shouldn’t put you at greater risk of contracting HPV. Your risk of contracting HPV really depends on whether your partner has the virus and what you do to protect yourself, whether you are in a car, in a bed or on a raft, in a house or with a mouse sits. One way to prevent HPV infection is to always know your partner’s STI history. This, along with knowing your partner’s name before sex, should be paramount. After all, you don’t want to shout ‘oh, whatever your name’ during sex or put yourself at unnecessary risk of contracting the STD.
A second way is to always use barrier protection such as condoms when there is any doubt about your partner’s HPV status. If getting you or your partner to wear a condom seems harder than getting a cat to wear a tuxedo, you may want to delay sex.
The third thing you can do is get yourself vaccinated against HPV. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that you get vaccinated against HPV if you are 12 years old. If you’re already in your late teens or early 20s, don’t worry. Life hasn’t passed you by yet. The CDC still recommends that you get vaccinated as long as you are 26 and younger. Finally, be sensible who you have sex with because you don’t want to play HPV roulette.
It will be interesting to see how this case can affect insurance coverage and premiums. Will the fine print in insurance policies start saying things like “excluding car sex?” And how might this case affect the always romantic world of car sex? On top of your typical questions during foreplay, such as “did you bring a condom” or “will you watch out for the horn,” people will start asking, “what kind of umbrella cover do you have?”