When a person is injured in an accident that is caused by a negligent driver, the person may seek coverage for medical expenses from the negligent driver’s insurance company. If the negligent driver does not have sufficient insurance to cover the cost of the injured party’s medical bills, the injured party may be eligible for underinsured motorist benefits under any policy in which he or she is insured. It may not always be clear, however, whether a policy affords coverage. In a recent case decided by a Florida District Court in which coverage was disputed, the court explained the interpretation of common insurance policy provisions and terms pertaining to underinsured motorists. If you were injured in a South Florida car accident with an uninsured or underinsured driver you should consult an experienced South Florida car accident attorney to discuss what coverage you may be able to seek for your harm.
Factual Background of the Case
Reportedly, the plaintiff was driving a car she co-owned with her husband when she was involved in a collision with an underinsured motorist. The plaintiff had automobile insurance for her vehicle, which included underinsured motorist coverage. Additionally, at the time of the accident, the plaintiff lived with her father who had an insurance policy with the defendant insurer. The plaintiff was not a named insured on her father’s policy; however, the policy provided coverage to resident relatives in certain circumstances. One month after the accident, pursuant to a disclosure request from the plaintiff’s attorney, the defendant insurer stated there were no known coverage defenses.
It is alleged that the plaintiff’s attorney and the defendant continued to engage in communications discussing whether the plaintiff was eligible for underinsured motorist benefits under her father’s policy. The plaintiff ultimately filed a lawsuit against the defendant, alleging breach of contract for the failure to pay the claim. The defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that the plaintiff was not entitled to coverage under the policy.