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Insurance & Casualty Litigation

Five Considerations When Validating UM Rejection Form

  1.  A UM selection form is invalid where it was completed by an insurance agency employee after it left the hands of the insured, although  the form apparently reflected the agreement of the parties to select lower limits of UM coverage.  In other words, in order for the form to be valid, the form must be completed before the UM selection form is signed by the insured, such that the signature of the insured or the insured’s representative signifies acceptance of and agreement with all of the information contained in the form.  “Allowing a person other than the insured to complete the form after it has been initialed and signed by the insured or insured’s representative would not only provide potential for abuse, confusion, and uncertainty, but would also violate the well-settled principles governing the proper completion of UM selection forms.”  Gray v. American National Property & Casualty Co., 07-1670 (La. 2/26/08), 977 So. 2d 839.
  2. The changing of a number in the policy number sequence to reflect that the insured had qualified for a group discount does not render invalid the UM rejection form or selection form validly executed at the inception of the policy.  Denofrio v Greer, 44-066 (La. App. 2 Cir. 1/14/09), 999 So.2d 1235.
  3. Waiver form for uninsured motorist (UM) coverage did not need typed name of person who signed UM rejection form on behalf of corporate named insured, and, thus, form was valid with printed name of insured and signature of representativeBanquer v. Guidroz, 09-466 (La. 5/15/09), 8 So.3d 559
  4. The Supreme Court held that motorist who was excluded from automobile insurance policy’s liability coverage was also precluded from recovering under the policy’s UM coverageFilipski v. Imperial Fire & Cas.  Ins. Co.,  09-1013 (La. 12/1/09), 25 So.3d 742.
  5. Employee was injured in an automobile accident while driving a truck owned by his employer.  Employee sought recovery from employer’s UM motorist coverage for his injuries.  The UM form in employer’s insurance policy contained a UM liability coverage selection of $30,000 per person but the blank for setting a lower per-accident UM limit was left blank.  Held, the UM election of lower limits by employer was valid.  At the time of the employer’s election, the state had a usable UM coverage form for split-limit policies but not for single-limit policies.  Insured and agent sought to make an election of lower UM limits on a form not designed for a single-limit policy and insured should not have to suffer because of the state’s failure to supply adequate and appropriate UM coverage formsWart v. Progressive Security Ins. Co., 43-954 (La. App. 2 Ci. 4/8/09), 7 So. 3d 865

Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.