Hughes v. State Farm; Selection of UIM in a minimum limits policy
In Hughes v. State Farm (WDNC, January 16, 2014), the federal court addressed whether an insurer is required to offer underinsured motorist coverage in a policy with liability limits of $30,000 (the minimum limits in North Carolina). In this case, the insured had an automobile policy with liability limits of $30,000 per person per accident, which is the minimum in North Carolina. The policy did not indicate that any UIM coverage was purchased. He received the limits of the policy limits of the tortfeasor, and sought UIM coverage under his own policy, arguing that he did not sign a form rejecting UIM coverage. The court dismissed the insured’s action, finding that it is well-established in North Carolina that a policy providing only the minimum liability limits is not required to provide UIM coverage, and thus the existence of a selection/rejection form is immaterial.
John Kirby has represented handled many UIM cases in North Carolina, and has taught seminars on UIM coverage.