Appellate Decision for BVH Client on UM/UIM Coverage Matter January 2023
Tom Costello and Chris Ktenas
BVH secured a declaratory judgment victory for an insurer client of the firm in a case in which an employee of the client’s insured was involved in a motor vehicle accident with a rental vehicle. The rental vehicle was protected by a bond posted by the rental company that leased the vehicle to the allegedly at-fault driver, and the plaintiff secured a settlement with the rental company on behalf of the other driver. In the declaratory action, the plaintiff argued that (1) the UM/UIM limits had not been properly selected at a limit lower than the liability limit pursuant to the requirements of the Insurance Code; and (2) that the rental vehicle was an uninsured or underinsured motorist. The Circuit Court of Cook County granted summary judgment to Tom’s and Chris’ client, finding that the insured’s election of lower UM/UIM limits met the requirements of Illinois law and was valid and enforceable. Further, the Court agreed that by virtue of the fact that the other vehicle was covered by the rental company and the insured obtained a settlement from the rental company, the accident did not involve an uninsured or an underinsured motorist, and so no potential coverage was afforded. The First District Appellate Court recently affirmed the judgment in its entirety.