UM Policies Charge Separae Premium
I have a UM case where the UM policies charge a separate premium for each policy but company says that they have a non-stackable clause. Is that valid in Oklahoma?
Answer: Here is the "Readers Digest" version from a CLE piece I wrote: The named insured or household member ("Class 1 insureds") may stack the coverage of vehicles in the household, whether those vehicles are insured under separate policies (Keel v. MFA, 1976 OK 86, 553 P.2d 153) or multiple vehicles are insured under a single policy (Richardson v. Allstate, 1980 OK 157, 619 P.2d 594, Lake v. Wright, 1982 OK 98, 657 P.2d 643). This is true where the company charges a separate premium for each vehicle insured.
Scott v. Cimarron Insurance Co., Inc., 1989 OK 26, 774 P.2d 456, holds that the insurance company may deny stacking under such policies. So far as how to tell if they are charging a per policy or per vehicle premium, the only sure fire way is to go to the State Insurance Commission and look at the rate filings to determine how the premiums are charged. What got Allstate in trouble was that they charged a "per policy" premium but then added a "multiple vehicle surcharge" if the policy insured more than one vehicle. This device caused (as John notes) about a doubling of the premium so the courts made them provide two coverages.
Posted on Thu, July 21, 2011
by Sharon Coleman filed under