We are happy to report that Daniel A. Levy, Esq. appeared on October 9, 2013 before the Appellate Division for oral arguments on an important issue of Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) coverage. The case is captioned Sanders v. CURE, Appellate Division Docket No. A – 003878-12. Mr. Levy also filed the briefs with the appellate court.
The case was about the interpretation of an UM insurance policy and the laws that regulated the policy. Under New Jersey law, all Standard insurance policies are required to provide at least $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, for all drivers and passengers of the insured vehicle. However, in New Jersey people can purchase a Basic policy, which does not have any UM coverage. In this case, the client had purchased a Basic policy but he was traveling in a friend’s car. The friend had a Standard policy, written by CURE, which included the legally required UM coverage. During their trip, the vehicle was hit by an uninsured driver and the client suffered significant and permanent injuries.
Under the CURE policy, we sought UM benefits, as required by law and the policy. However, CURE refused to pay anything on the claim. They decided that they did not have to follow the law, arguing that the client elected to purchase a Basic policy from his insurance company (which has no UM coverage) so they shouldn’t have to pay any UM benefits. We argued that the law and their own policy absolutely requires them to provide these benefits, and whatever decisions the client made when purchasing his own car insurance were completely irrelevant. The trial judges agreed with us, ordered CURE to provide coverage, and ordered CURE to submit to binding UM arbitration. CURE refused to comply and filed an appeal, which we opposed.
Appeals do not resolve quickly, but we are hoping that a decision in our favor will be entered within the next few months. Even though there was a relatively small amount of money at stake (since the CURE policy was a minimal policy) we are still happy to fight zealously to protect our client’s rights.