When you are injured due to another driver’s negligence, an important aspect of your recovery is determining which insurance policies provide coverage for your damages. This can become incredibly complicated where multiple policies are involved and where those policies include underinsured motorist provisions. Our dedicated team of Chicago car accident lawyers is ready to help you ensure that you receive the maximum payments possible following a painful and unnecessary accident.
In a recent appellate opinion, the court considered the application of an underinsured motorist policy. The plaintiff filed an underinsured motorist claim against an insurer seeking coverage for injuries that he sustained while driving one of his employer’s 16 vehicles, all of which were covered by policies issued by the insurer. The plaintiff settled with the defendant driver who caused the accident for the defendant’s policy limits of $20,000. The plaintiff then sent notice to the insurer of the underinsured motorist claim and seeking the policy limits. The plaintiff argued that the coverage for all of the 16 policies should be stacked, amounting to $4 million in total available underinsured motorist coverage.
In response, the insurer argued that only $250,000 was available, constituting the policy for one of the vehicles. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment. The plaintiff argued that he should be permitted to stack the coverages while the insurer argued that the policy had clear language that prohibited stacking and that because the premiums were listed separately for each vehicle the anti-stacking aspect was clear. The trial court concluded that the plaintiff’s interpretation that called for stacking all 16 policies was correct. The insurer appealed.