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PA Superior Court Adresses Underinsured Motorist Stacking Issue

Posted on Aug 15, 2012

The Pennsylvania Superior Court opinion yesterday, August 15, 2012, decided Shipp v. The Phoenix Insurance Company, — A.3d — (Pa. Super 2012).  This cases involves how the Sackett underinsured motorist line of cases relate to a situation where a new vehicle is a “replacement” vehicle for an existing vehicle on a policy as opposed to an “additional” vehicle being added to a policy.

In Shipp, an insurance policy was initially purchased in 2002 with three vehicles and stacking was rejected. Ultimately, cars were replaced on the policy and new cars added but at no time did the policy have more than same original three vehicles on the policy. Then an accident occurs and there are two vehicles on the policy. The insured claims that when the other vehicles were deleted and the new vehicles added that this is new coverage and a new waiver for stacking is required.

The Superior Court finds that the Shipp policy continuously covered at least two vehicles the entire time. Also, the coverage on the replacement vehicles continues uninterrupted as long as the Shipps give notice to the insurance company. Therefore, the initial waiver signed by the Shipps to reject stacking it valid and no new waiver is required. The Court makes sure to note that the Shipp case refers only to a replacement vehicle and not an additional vehicle. That factor militates against the need for the insurer to re-obtain a new waiver of stacking.

If you would like a copy of the opinion it can be obtained by contacting Scott Cooper directly or feel free to contact a Harrisburg personal injury attorney at Schmidt Kramer, who specialize in personal injury claims and can answer any questions you may have about inadequate care at a nursing home.

Schmidt Kramer – Ph: (717) 888-8888