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Maine.gov > PFR Home > Insurance Regulation >Administrative & Enforcement Actions > Cancellation Hearing Index > Cancellation / Nonrenewal Docket No. INS 05-2033 Decision
Malgorzata Anderson v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
The insured requested a hearing following receipt of a notice of automobile insurance coverage nonrenewal citing one accident of the insured and two accidents of another household driver. At hearing, the company testified as to the dates of the accidents and the amounts paid, and documentation regarding each accident was submitted. The insured testified that the other driver cited was a resident of her household and the regular operator of the vehicle insured under this policy. She did not dispute that the accidents occurred but argued that the other household driver’s latest accident should not be used as a basis for nonrenewal. She testified that the accident occurred when the insured vehicle was hit by another vehicle that did not stop, and the company is currently negotiating to compensate the other household driver for pain and suffering that occurred as a result of the accident
Held: For the insured. The insured’s version of the latest accident differs from the company’s description of the loss. Either version, however, constitutes a hit-and–run accident in which an insured’s Uninsured Motorist (“UM”) Coverage could be triggered. See Lanzo v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Ins. Co, 524 A.2d 47 (Me. 1987). Compensation for pain and suffering is only available under the UM coverage of the policy. When UM coverage responds in the place of an uninsured, underinsured or unknown driver, an insured is being reimbursed on behalf of the person held responsible for the accident, and the exception provided by 24-A M.R.S.A. § 2916-A(2)(D) applies. The company elected to participate in the hearing by sworn statement thus eliminating its ability to hear and respond to this issue. The evidence provided by the company is not sufficient to establish that this accident may qualify as part of the basis for nonrenewal.
The Maine Automobile Insurance Cancellation Control Act considers as grounds for nonrenewal certain accidents in which the named insured or any other operator are involved while operating a vehicle insured under the policy or under another policy issued by the same insurer for a motor vehicle in the same household. Accordingly, the insured’s accident involving the vehicle insured under her other State Farm policy is properly included. Ms. Anderson and the other household driver each have one accident qualifying under § 2916-A(2), or an aggregate of two qualifying accidents. Although only one vehicle is insured under the subject policy, the statute directs that the aggregate number of accidents permitting nonrenewal must be increased by one for each additional motor vehicle in the residence insured by the same insurer. As the record demonstrates that the company insures at least two vehicles in this household, an aggregate of three accidents is required to permit nonrenewal. Since the company has not established that the other household driver’s latest accident qualifies as a third accident under § 2916-A(2), the company has not demonstrated that this nonrenewal action is justified.
Last Updated: January 16, 2014
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