Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Court Rejects Carrier's Argument That Sign Down Forms Secured For One Policy Carried Over to Later Policy

In the case of Woloszyn v. Nationwide Prop. & Cas. Ins. Co., No. 10246 of 2022, C.A. (C.P. Lawr. Co. Oct. 6, 2022 Hodge, J.), the court denied a Defendant carrier’s Motion to Dismiss a Plaintiff’s bad faith insurance claim.

In this matter, which arose out of a motor vehicle accident, the Defendant carrier argued that it was not obligated to provide coverage because the carrier had secured a sign down form from the Plaintiff relative to the Plaintiff’s previous policy with the carrier. The carrier noted that the more recent insurance policy provided to the Plaintiff, which was in effect at the time of the accident, was just a rewriting of the previous policy. As such, the carrier asserted that the securing of another sign down form was not required.

The court in this matter disagreed with the carrier's argument and held that, under 75 Pa. C.S.A. §1731, the carrier was required to secure another sign down form and that, therefore, the Defendant’s argument that the old coverage limits transferred to the new policy failed as a matter of law.

The court noted that, while the Defendant carrier argued that the new policy simply assumed the sign-down provision of the Plaintiff’s previous policy, the court noted that the Defendants had failed to produce a signed copy of the previous rejection form indicating that the Plaintiffs understood that they were rejecting underinsured and uninsured motorist coverage.

Based upon these reasons, the court denied the Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss.

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

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Nov. 22, 2022).

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