Franke, Schultz & Mullen, PC | Circuit Court of Christian County, MO enters Summary Judgment in favor of insurer in UIM coverage dispute
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Circuit Court of Christian County, MO enters Summary Judgment in favor of insurer in UIM coverage dispute

Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company filed a declaratory judgment action to determine its coverage obligations under a motorcycle policy issued to Michael Erwin. Progressive issued a motorcycle policy to Mr. Erwin with underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage up to $50,000 for each person/$100,000 for each accident. Mr. Erwin was involved in a motorcycle-motor vehicle accident and accepted the $50,000 bodily injury liability limit on behalf of the driver of the motor vehicle. Mr. Erwin contended he was entitled to UIM benefits under the Progressive policy and that Progressive was obligated to pay all damages up to the $50,000 limits of UIM coverage. The parties each submitted Motions for Summary Judgment.
Progressive argued that the motor vehicle involved in the accident was not an “underinsured motor vehicle” under the terms of the Progressive policy because the sum of the limits of liability under all bodily injury liability policies was not less than the coverage limit for UIM coverage under the Progressive policy. Progressive also argued that even if the court determined that the motor vehicle met the definition of an “underinsured motor vehicle” such that Mr. Erwin was entitled to UIM coverage, then Progressive was entitled to an offset for the $50,000 paid by the liability carrier which would leave Progressive owing nothing to Mr. Erwin.
The Circuit Court of Christian County, Missouri entered summary judgment in favor of Progressive and denied Mr. Erwin’s Motion for Summary Judgment. The Court held there was no UIM coverage for Mr. Erwin’s claim for UIM benefits because the motor vehicle involved in the collision was not an underinsured motor vehicle as defined in the Progressive policy and therefore UIM coverage was not triggered. The Court stated that even if UIM coverage were triggered, which the Court determines it was not, Progressive would be entitled to receive a setoff or credit in the amount of $50,000 against its $50,000 per each person limit of liability for UIM coverage for the liability policy limits payment received by Mr. Erwin. John Mullen and Joan Sheridan represented Progressive Northwestern Insurance Company.