In State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Donegal Mut. Ins. Co., XXX Crawford Co. L. J. 52 (2013) the trial court in the Court of Common Pleas of Crawford County issued an opinion and Order in dispute between insurers regarding pro rata share obligation for underinsured motorist (UIM) payment. In this case, the injured victim/insured resided with her parents and was operating their vehicle with consent when she was struck by a tortfeasor. There were two vehicles on her parents' policy and there was $25,000 in stacked UIM coverage. The injured victim had her own policy with $100,000 in UIM but no stacking. After recovering the tortfeasor's liability limits, the UIM claims made against State Farm and Donegal settled for $90,000 total of which State Farm paid $50,000 and Donegal paid $40,000. State Farm sought a pro rata contribution from Donegal by arguing that the second vehicle on the parents' State Farm policy should be considered "secondary" and therefore of equal priority with Donegal.
The trial court rejects that argument and relies upon Section 1733 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL), other case law, and PAJ's Motor Vehicle Insurance book. The trial court holds that both vehicles under State Farm's policy are first priority and the Donegal policy is solely second priority. The trial court rejects State Farm's pro rata request and grants defendant Donegal's motion for Summary Judgment.
If you desire a copy of the opinion and order please e-mail Schmidt Kramer Injury Lawyer Scott Cooper at scooper@Schmidt Kramer.com.
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