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Trial Court Holds That Signing Application Is Not a Writing (Only Acceptance of Coverage)

Posted On Behalf of Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyers on May 14, 2012 in General

On November 18, 2009 in  United Financial Casualty Company v. Fornataro, No. 11791 of 2008 C.A. (Mott, J. Lawrence Co.) Judge Motto held that a written request for lower U/UIM limits which does not include the specific amount of coverage purchased is not valid even where the Insured signs the application for insurance which includes the amount of UM /UIM purchased. The insured is entitled to UM /UIM coverage in an amount equal to the liability limits. In this case the insured executed a form “UM/UIM Increase Limits Rejection Form” which did not identify the specific amounts of UM/UIM coverage. The bodily injury coverage was $300,000 and the application for coverage indicates that UM/UIM is $35,000. But the specific amount were not filled in on the other UM/UIM Increase Limits Rejection” form.
Judge Mott notes that the application for coverage is only an acceptance of coverage. The Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law in plain terms requires the liability coverage to equal the UM/UIM coverage unless the insured rejects the coverage outright or makes a written “express” request in writing for lower coverage under Section 1734. In this case the insured failed to make an “express designation” of the lower coverage. Thus, the written request is not valid. He also holds that the statute then obligates and mandates the UM/UIM coverage equal the liability coverage and rejects the argument that their is no remedy. For a copy of the opinion in pdf please contact us a SCHMIDT KRAMER at 1-888-476-0807 or by e-mail at www.Schmidt Kramer.com. Scott B. Cooper SCHMIDT KRAMER P.C.scooper@Schmidt Kramer.com717-232-6300