Thursday, March 17, 2011

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules on Reduction of UM/UIM Coverage Forms

On March 14, 2011, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a 5-2 decision in the case of Orsag v. Farmers New Century Insurance, 2011 WL 856367 (Pa. 2010 Eakin, J.) holding that an insured's signature on an application for automobile insurance was sufficient to allow the insurance carrier to enforce the insured's request for uninsured/underinsured ("UM/UIM") coverage limits lower than the bodily injury liability limits of the same policy.

The majority found that the application language was sufficient under the written requirements found under 75 Pa.C.S. 1734 for the selection of reduced UM/UIM coverage even if the application was not accompanied with a written Section 1791 "Important Notice" of coverage options.

For more details, the actual opinions can be viewed online at these links:

Majority Opinion:
http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-37-2010mo.pdf


Concurring Opinion:
http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-37-2010co.pdf


Dissenting Opinion:
http://www.aopc.org/OpPosting/Supreme/out/J-37-2010do.pdf


I send thanks to Attorney Pete Speaker of the Harrisburg, PA office of Thomas, Thomas & Hafer as well as to Attorney Craig Murphey from the Erie, PA office of MacDonald Illig for bringing this case to my attention.

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