Wednesday, February 12, 2020

First Named Insured Must Sign Rejection of Stacking Form For It to Be Valid


In the case of Rodriquez v. Penn National Mut. Ins. Co., No. S-203-16 (C.P. Schuylkill Co. Jan. 14, 2020 Goodman, J.), the trial court addressed the issue of the statutory requirement that a first named insured sign a rejection of stacking form in an underinsured motorist context in order for the rejection to be upheld.

According to the Opinion, in this matter, the wife of the first named insured signed the rejection of stacking form.

Thereafter, the wife was involved in a car accident and made claim for stacked UIM coverage, which Penn National denied.

The wife claimed that the rejection of stacking form was invalid under §1738 of the Motor Vehicle Code.

Penn National attempted to argue that the rejection form was still valid because the first named insured’s wife was acting as an agent of first named insured when she signed the rejection of stacking form.

Judge Goodman of the Schuylkill County Court of Common Pleas adopted the plain statute language requiring that a rejection of stacking form be signed by the “first named insured” rendered the rejection form invalid even though it was signed by the wife of the first named insured.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Scott B. Cooper of the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania law firm of Schmidt Kramer, P.C. for bringing this case to my attention.

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