Westlaw Topical Highlights: Insurance, January 17, 2014

January 17, 2014

insuranceWestlaw Topical Highlights for Insurance provides summaries of significant federal and state judicial decisions and legislative and administrative activities affecting Insurance law. A Westlaw subscription is required to access the documents linked from this page.

Automobile: Wife’s loss of consortium claim was subject to same “each person” liability limit as husband’s personal injury claim.  Shelter Mut. Ins. Co. v. MacVittie, 2013 WL 6822415 (Mo.App. W.D.)  A husband’s personal injury claim and his wife’s loss of consortium claim were subject to the same “each person” liability limit under an automobile insurance policy purchased from an insurer by a motorist who injured the husband in an automobile accident. Therefore, the trial court erred in granting judgment on the pleadings in favor of the husband and wife and awarding $100,000 in damages on the loss of consortium claim. The policy unambiguously provided that a limit of the insurer’s liability for “each person” applied to “all damages arising out of one person’s bodily injury” and that the “limit include[d] all damages to others resulting from that person’s bodily injury whether direct or derivative in nature.” Although the policy narrowly defined “damages” as money that the motorist was “legally obligated to pay another person for bodily injury, property damage, or consequential loss,” reading the “damages” definition to place the wife’s loss of consortium claim outside of the “each person” limit ignored the context of the policy as a whole and considered the term in isolation.  2013 WL 6822415.  (The full-text of the rest of the Topical Highlights are available within Westlaw Next, subscription required).

Automobile: Insured’s passenger was subject to auto policy’s two-year limitations period for recovering underinsured motorist benefits.  Osmic v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co. 2014 WL 88240 (Iowa)

Automobile: Wife’s loss of consortium claim was subject to same “each person” liability limit as husband’s personal injury claim.  Shelter Mut. Ins. Co. v. MacVittie 2013 WL 6822415 (Mo.App. W.D.)

Automobile: Underinsured motorist (UIM) insurer may interpret selection form required by Rhode Island UIM coverage statute.  Carpenter v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co. 2014 WL 51468 (D.R.I.)

 Automobile: Insured was entitled to “stack” underinsured motorist coverage despite some “no stacking” language.  Jordan v. Safeco Ins. Co. of Illinois 2014 WL 128692 (C.A.8 (Mo.))