Saturday, August 27, 2011

TN Supreme Court reviews an uninsured motorist policy with limits lower than the statutory amount

RANDALL D. KISER v. IAN J. WOLFE ET AL. (Tenn. August 24, 2011)

The plaintiff, an employee of the insured, was injured while driving the insured's tow truck. He filed suit against the defendant and later sought to invoke the insured's uninsured motorist policy in an amount equal to the liability coverage for bodily injury. The insurer filed a motion for partial summary judgment, seeking to limit uninsured motorist coverage to the amount listed on the first page of the policy rather than the amount otherwise fixed by statute. The trial court denied the motion, but the Court of Appeals reversed.

We affirm the judgment of the Court of Appeals, holding that the insured was entitled to a partial summary judgment. When the insured signs an application indicating the selection of uninsured motorist coverage lower than the liability limits, but neglects to initial a provision designed to confirm the selection of coverage less than the standard provided by statute, the "in writing" requirement under Tennessee Code Annotated section 56-7-1201(a)(2) (2008) has been satisfied. The cause is remanded to the trial court for the entry of partial summary judgment and such other proceedings, as may be necessary.

Opinion available at:

LEE concurring in part and dissenting in part:

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