Mattiacci Law recently recovered $150,000 in underinsured motorist benefits for a client injured in a car accident in Philadelphia. Attorney John Mattiacci was able to obtain UIM coverage for the client even though the client had specifically rejected UIM coverage through with her own insurance company.
John was able to secure UIM benefits by showing that the insurance company, Ameriprise, had drafted a UIM waiver that violated 75 Pa. C.S. § 1731. This law requires very specific language to be used in UIM waivers in Pennsylvania. John Mattiacci showed that the waiver violated Pennsylvania law in that it did not use all of the required language. As a result, his client was able to pursue additional money through her own insurance company even though she did not elect or pay for UIM coverage.
Being able to obtain UIM benefits in this case made an enormous difference to the client. The defendant driver that injured the client only had $25,000 in insurance. The only way for the client to obtain more money was to pursue an underinsured (UIM) motorist claim through her own auto insurance policy. However, she had rejected this coverage. UIM coverage provides an injured person with money through his or her own auto insurance policy when the driver that injured that person does not have enough insurance.
John Mattiacci requested the waiver allegedly signed by the client and immediately saw that the waiver violated Pennsylvania law. John argued that Ameriprise was obligated to provide UIM coverage to the client, even though the client had rejected UIM coverage and had not paid premiums for that insurance. Ameriprise was forced to allow a UIM claim, and John eventually recovered the majority of the UIM policy by obtaining an additional $150,000 for the client. As a result, the client’s total recovery for the car accident was $175,000.
If John had not found that the waiver had violated Pennsylvania law, the client’s recovery would have only been $25,000 from the defendant driver. This is a clear example of why attorneys always should request and evaluate the insurance waivers in cases to ensure that they are not giving up opportunities to increase their clients’ recoveries.
If you have auto insurance in Pennsylvania with Ameriprise (also known as IDS Property Casualty Insurance Company), contact our firm today to see if you may have a potential underinsured motorist claim if you have been in an accident.