Monday, September 26, 2022

Upper Level UIM Carrier Entitled to Credit for Liability Limits and First-Level UIM Limits

In the case of State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Griffiths, No. C.A. 20-202 Erie (W.D. Pa. Aug. 23, 2022 Baxter, J.), the court granted the Plaintiff insurance company’s Motion for Summary Judgment. In this case, the injured party was seeking underinsured motorist benefits after settling with both the third party tortfeasors.

The court found that the non-duplication provision found in the liability policy that covered one of the tortfeasor drivers was unenforceable as against public policy.

The court additionally found that the UIM insurance carrier was entitled to a credit in the full amount of the available policy limits against any UIM benefits to which the injured party might be entitled to pursue under the UIM policies at issue.

In its decision, the court noted that Boyle v. Erie Ins. Co., 656 A.2d 941 (Pa. Super. 1995), governed the amount of the bodily injury credit a UIM carrier was entitled to claim when an injured party settles a liability claim against the tortfeasor.  That decision holds that a UIM carrier is entitled to a credit in the full amount of the liability limits.

The court also noted that a secondary UIM carrier is entitled to a credit of not only the liability limits but also for the full amount of the UIM limits of the primary UIM carrier regardless of the terms of an underlying settlement.

As such, the court found that the UIM insurance company in this matter was entitled to a credit of the third party liability limits and the first level UIM limits.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Sept. 8, 2022).

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