On Wednesday, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that household vehicle exclusions cannot prevent injured victims from recovering stacked coverage. Stacking coverage allows insurance purchasers to increase the amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage by the number of vehicles in their insurance policy.
In a 5-2 decision, the court determined that a household exclusion in a policy issued by Geico directly violated the Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law. The statute states that unless insurance purchasers choose to waive stacking, the coverage should be made available to any injured victim.
Geico denied additional coverage for an injured motorist after being involved in a motorcycle accident in 2012. The victim had previously purchased stacked coverage for his motorcycle and two other vehicles and was entitled up to $250,000 in damages.
Scott Cooper, a partner at Schmidt Kramer who represented the victim with other attorneys, says this ruling overturned about 30 years of case law and sided with legal arguments he and other lawyers have made for many years. Past case law was allowing courts to avoid addressing arguments about the language of the statute in question.
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