Claim For Underinsured Benefits Denied

It is always smart to purchase uninsured motorist benefits coverage because of the number of people driving around with no insurance or insufficient insurance to cover a lot of losses that occur. This is particularly true in the Grand Prairie, Arlington, and Dallas – Fort Worth areas of Texas.
Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage is required to be provided to drivers purchasing auto coverage in Texas. This requirement is found in the Texas Insurance Code, Section 1952.101.
The Court of Appeals, Texarkana, Texas, recently ruled in a case involving underinsured coverage benefits. The style of the case is Myrtis Williams v. State Farm Mutual Insurance Company. This case was decided on February 5, 2010.
The facts of this case are important to understanding the ruling of the court. Richard Conner was the only named insured in a State Farm Mutual Insurance Company (State Farm) policy. The policy covered a 2002 Cadillac Escalade. The address listed on the insurance policy for Conner was 1903 Circle Drive in Marshall, Texas. The listed drivers were Conner and his girlfriend Rewa Hubbard. The Escalade was titled to Hubbard.
Myrtis Williams, the claimant in this lawsuit, resided with Hubbard at 2505 West Francis Street in Marshall. Williams was involved in a wreck while driving her 1998 Lincoln Town Car. The other driver, who was at fault, did not have sufficient insurance to cover the loss to Williams. Williams then made a claim against Conner’s, State Farm policy. State Farm denied the claim.
The court ruled in favor of State Farm. In doing so, the court analysed the policy and the facts of the case. In analysing the policy language, the court found that a “covered person”, within the definitions of the policy, must fall within one or more of these categories: (1) the named insured shown in the declarations, (2) a family member of the named insured, or (3) any other person occupying the covered vehicle.
As to number (1); Williams was clearly not the named insured, Conner was. As to number (2); Williams was not a family member of the named insured, Conner. Her family relationship was mother to Hubbard. As to (3); Williams was not occupying the covered automobile. The covered automobile was Conner’s Escalade. Williams was driving her own vehicle, the Lincoln Town Car.
There were a few legal reasons that attorneys for Williams probably relied on for finding a way to get coverage for Williams. Their efforts were laudable but a little too detailed to get into here. An experienced Insurance Law Attorney is helpful in seeing if a case has merit. No one wants to waste time, money, or effort in a losing cause. For that reason it is important to have these cases looked at and analysed.
It is noteworthy that the policy at issue here was one in the form prescribed and approved of by the Texas Department of Insurance.

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