A Different Track: Mississippi Supreme Court Affirms Voiding of Auto Policy for Failure to Disclose 16-Year Old Son

Contrary to many states, which are reluctant to void automobile policies, the Mississippi Supreme Court in Jones v. Safeway Insurance Company, Case No. 2014-CA-00180-SCT, 2015 Miss. ELXIS 456 (Sept. 3, 2015), upheld the voiding of an automobile liability policy because the named insured failed to disclose her 16-year old son. In a win for insurers, it held that auto policies should be treated as any other insurance contract. The relevant facts are as follows: Michelle Busby applied for and obtained
Continue reading...

Not So Fast: Despite Policy Rescission, New Jersey Supreme Court Holds Auto Insurer Liable to Injured Third-Party

The New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether the issuer of a basic automobile insurance policy, voided due to a fraudulent application, is still on the hook for liability claims of innocent third parties in Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange v. Sabrina Perez, et al. (A-67 September Term 2013)(073384) 2015 N.J. LEXIS 871 (N.J. Aug. 13, 2015). Sabrina Perez applied for an automobile insurance policy with Citizens United Reciprocal Exchange (CURE), choosing a “basic” coverage policy with an optional $10,000 coverage limit
Continue reading...

Request Denied: Constitutionality Challenge of the No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act (NFAIA) Overruled in Minnesota

The No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act’s mandatory arbitration requirement of claims for $10,000 or less is now confirmed to be constitutional, according to the judgment delivered recently by the Court of Appeals of Minnesota in Unger v. AAA Ins. Co., No. A14-1885 (Minn. Ct. App. Aug. 10, 2015). Ruth and Amanda Unger were injured in a car accident after which they received chiropractic care and physical therapy. A few months later, however, AAA Insurance Company seized payment of on-going benefits and
Continue reading...

Minnesota Court Finds Specific Provisions In Policy Exclusion Govern Over More General Follow Form Provisions

This insurance coverage action stemmed from an underlying motor vehicle accident where Arnold Paster’s vehicle (driven by Paster and owned by Paster Enterprises) collided with Jerome G. Wind’s motorcycle. Wind sought coverage for his injuries from Paster Enterprises’  commercial automobile carrier, Phoenix Insurance Co.’s  (Phoenix) its umbrella carrier Great American Insurance Co. (Great American), and Paster’s personal automobile carrier Commerce & Industry Insurance Co.  (Commerce) and his personal excess liability carrier, Chartis  Property Casualty Co. (Chartis). In analyzing cross-motions for
Continue reading...