Filing an insurance claim after a car accident can be overwhelming. Many people seek guidance from a Maryland injury attorney to help them navigate through the process. In a July 12, 2018 case, the Court of Special Appeals of Maryland decided a complex dispute between two insurance companies. The primary issue was which company’s policy provided primary coverage to an injured claimant.
The claimant in the case was a passenger of an automobile that was involved in an accident. The driver of the other vehicle that caused the accident was uninsured. The claimant was insured by the plaintiff (Company A), while the owner of the automobile she rode in was insured by the defendant (Company B). Both of the policies provided uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM/UIM) coverage and it was not disputed that UM/UIM coverage was available to the claimant. However, the Company B policy had a UM/UIM limit of $100,000, while the limit under the Company A policy was $300,000. The dispute was whether one policy provided primary UM/UIM coverage, or whether both policies provided coverage on a pro rata basis.
Company A argued that Company B was the primary carrier, so Company B must pay out its full policy limit of $100,000 before Company A has any obligation to cover the remaining amount. Company B argued that the dispute must be resolved by looking to the language of the insurance contracts, which limited its obligation pro rata to coverage of other primary insurers.