Although most auto insurance companies in the Carolinas offer UIM coverage as part of their standard policy, questions regarding who can collect on these benefits arise often in court. In fact, UIM cases continue to set precedent. New case law is constantly emerging that outlines the boundaries of when collection is allowed, and how much.
The recent case of Gillespie v. National Farmers Union Property & Casualty Co. was weighed by the North Dakota Supreme Court and involved the question of whether a teenaged girl was entitled to underinsured motorist coverage under her mother’s policy. The girl, who was seriously injured in a crash, had been the one driving. She was operating a car that was owned by her aunt, who was killed in the crash. The aunt’s auto insurance policy (GEICO) paid the girl $25,000 in no-fault benefits. However, it rejected her request for bodily injury liability damages, even though the girl asserted her aunt was liable for negligent entrustment of the vehicle. The girl had only earned her learner’s permit two days prior to the crash.