Plaintiff Cannot Recover on Multiple Underinsured Motorist Policies, According to Connecticut Court of Appeals

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1335451_40273159.jpgThe “antistacking” provisions in Connecticut’s laws, which govern uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance coverage, prohibit a person from claiming benefits on two separate policies, according to the Connecticut Court of Appeals. In Stott v. Peerless Insurance Company, the court affirmed the trial court’s summary judgment in favor of the defendant insurance company, which had successfully argued that the antistacking law precluded the plaintiff’s claim.

The court stated in its opinion that, since 1979, Connecticut has required auto insurance policies to include coverage for injuries that should be covered by another driver’s auto insurance, but who is un- or underinsured. The intention was to allow an insured person to recover the benefits they could have recovered had the liable party been sufficiently insured. A law passed in 1993 limits a person’s claim on un- or underinsured motorist coverage to the person’s primary policy. This ended a practice known as “stacking,” in which a person could claim benefits from a secondary policy on top of the benefits received from the primary policy.

In the case at hand, the plaintiff suffered severe injuries on July 1, 2009, when an oncoming driver crossed into her lane and struck her vehicle head-on. The other driver’s insurance had a liability limit of $20,000, an amount far insufficient for the plaintiff’s injuries. The plaintiff’s policy, issued by the defendant, included underinsured motorist coverage up to $100,000. She received $20,000 from the other driver’s insurance company, followed by $80,000 from the defendant pursuant to her own policy. The plaintiff, who lived with her parents at the time, was a named beneficiary under their policy, also issued by the defendant. The parents’ policy included coverage for relatives residing with them and provided $250,000 in un- or underinsured motorist benefits.