Adjudications



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7/1/17 Update
Automobile Policy Termination Digest
This Update directly supplements the 2017 edition Digest, and includes cases decided this year between January 1 and June 30. For entries marked with an asterisk (*), see also the main volume for additional cases with substantially the same wording.

ADJUDICATIONS

Burden of Proof p. 11
The burden of establishing compliance with or inapplicability of laws regulating the termination of insurance policies lies with the insurer. Great Northern/Comroe, P16-09-008 (2017); Philadelphia Contributionship/Martucci, P16-09-005 (2017); Metropolitan/Eldridge, P16-07-012 (2017).

Claim Payment p. 24
Act 6; $850, $950, $1050, $1150, $1350, $1450, $1550 or $1,700 Payment p. 24
Effective for nonrenewals after July 1, 2017, the aggregate of all claims payments paid by insurers in accidents on which the insurer relies for termination must exceed $1,700 in order for the insurer to terminate the policy. Ins. Dept. Notice No. 2017-01, 47 Pa. Bull. 75 (January 7, 2017).

Driving Record p. 36
Suspension p. 38
*An insurer is permitted to cancel an automobile insurance policy when the license of the named insured is suspended during the policy period. Washington/State Farm, P16-07-009 (2017).

Nonpayment of Premium p. 93
*An insured is not relieved of his obligation to timely remit his premium payment even though he is confused about and disputes the amount of the premium. O’Toole/State Farm, P16-09-002 (2017).
The existence of unearned premium upon policy termination does not negate the propriety of a cancellation for nonpayment nor change the effective date established by the cancellation notice. Wolfgang/Safe Auto, P16-09-010 (2017).

Notice p. 102
An insurer is not required to inform the insured by telephone that the policy is being canceled. Washington/State Farm, P16-07-009 (2017).

Policy Subject to Act p. 115
Although excess liability policies possess different functions and attributes than underlying primary policies, certain of those policies fit within the definitions of Act 68. Great Northern/Comroe, P16-09-008 (2017); Philadelphia Contributionship/Martucci, P16-09-005 (2017); Metropolitan/Eldridge, P16-07-012 (2017).
Personal lines policies covering the operation of non-commercial private passenger automobiles issued to natural persons and their households providing bodily injury and property damage liability coverage fit within the defintions of Act 68. Great Northern/Comroe, P16-09-008 (2017); Philadelphia Contributionship/Martucci, P16-09-005 (2017); Metropolitan/Eldridge, P16-07-012 (2017).
For an excess liability policy to be subject to Act 68, it need not contain all of the coverages cited in 40 P.S. § 991.2002(a)(1). Great Northern/Comroe, P16-09-008 (2017); Philadelphia Contributionship/Martucci, P16-09-005 (2017); Metropolitan/Eldridge, P16-07-012 (2017).

Refusal To Write (See also Cancellation — Policy in effect less than 60 days) p. 120
*If a reason is not specifically prohibited, it may be used for refusing to write a policy. Kline/Travelers, P16-12-011 (2017).
An apparent lapse in an applicant’s automobile insurance coverage is not a prohibited reason for refusing to write a policy. Kline/Travelers, P16-12-011 (2017).

Timeliness p. 129
Negligence of Insured 133
*An appeal is untimely and the Commissioner lacks jurisdiction when the lateness of a request for review is due to an insured’s own actions. Mermelstein and Woratha/Westfield, P16-09-015 (2017) (waiting to request review until returning home following a lengthy absence despite having notice of the cancellation from the insured’s producer and having his daughter check for mail from the insurer).
An insured’s failure to follow the cancellation notice’s instructions to request review while he addresses premium complaints with his agent does not excuse the insured’s late request for review. Hakeem-El/Nationwide, P17-01-013 (2017).

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