Posted on Apr 29, 2013
Below is the link to the Pennsylvania Superior Court opinion from April 25, 2013 in Weilacher v. State Farm. This case involves the issue of a written request for lower underinsured (UIM) motorist coverage, or the alleged written request. In this case, a policy was issued in 1994 with bodily injury coverage of 25K. The insured rejected UIM coverage by signing the appropriate 1731 rejection form. Then, in around 2000, the insured added UIM coverage at 25K. The policy remained in effect and premiums were paid with BI being 25K and UIM at 25K.
In 2009 the insured increases the BI coverage from 25K to 500K but the UIM remained at 25K. There is a car accident in 2010 and the insured claimed to be entitled to 500K in UIM coverage because they never signed a written request of lower UIM limits. Therefore, Weilacher argued that the limits are automatically equal to the BI coverage of 500K. State Farm argued that under Blood v. Old Guard, 934 A.2d 1218 (Pa. 2007) the UIM limits were only 25K and the trial court agreed.
The Superior Court reverses and holds that because the insured never executed any written request for lower limits through the lifetime of the policy the UIM coverage is 500K. It distinguishes Blood because in Blood the insured at least executed a written request for lower limits earlier in the lifetime of the policy. Also, the Superior Court holds that there is a remedy for failing to obtain the required written request, and that is the UIM automatically equals the BI coverage.
If you have been injured in a Pennsylvania car accident, or a loved one has been injured or killed in a car accident, contact a Pennsylvania Car Accident Lawyer at (717) 888-8888 and we will answer any questions you have about the Pennsylvania car, truck or motorcycle accident and the legal rights you may have due to the personal injury and losses involving any Harrisburg car accident, especially if you may need a lawyer for the Central Pennsylvania car accident.
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