Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Court Upholds Employer's Rejection Of UIM Coverage in a Case Where Employee Sought UIM Benefits

In the Grenell v. Zurich American Ins. Co., No. 2:21-CV-36 (W.D. Pa. Sept. 22, 2022 Cercone, J.), the court addressed challenges to UM and UIM rejection forms.

According to the Opinion, the Plaintiff was involved in a motor vehicle accident in August of 2019.

The Plaintiff settled with the tortfeasor for the liability limits and then secured UIM benefits from his own insurance company, which was the Agency Insurance Company.

The Plaintiff thereafter sought additional UIM benefits on the vehicle that he was operating at the time of the accident and which vehicle was provided to him by his employer. That vehicle was covered under an automobile insurance policy issued by Zurich American Insurance Company.

The record before the court confirmed that the Plaintiff was permitted to use the vehicle for business and personal use. The record also confirmed that the Plaintiff paid taxes on the benefits he received from the personal use of the vehicle.

According to the Opinion, the employer had rejected UIM coverage on the vehicle.

The Plaintiff challenged the validity of this UIM rejection under an argument that he was never notified of the rejection.

Cross Motions for Summary Judgment were filed.

The court held that the UIM rejection form was valid and enforceable. The court noted that the waiver was executed by someone with authority at the employer’s office to reject the coverage on behalf of the employer. As such, the court rejected the Plaintiffs’ arguments in opposition.

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

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

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