The Supreme Court of Virginia Allows Stacking of Underinsured Motorist Coverage Under a Single Policy


In Virginia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Comp. v. Williams, 278 Va. 75, 677 S.E.2d 299 (2009), the Supreme Court of Virginia recently held that uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage (hereinafter “UM/UIM coverage”) provided by a single policy could be stacked. The court’s decision explored the language of the policy in its entirety, not simply the provisions set forth in the UM/UIM endorsement which failed to define “each person” in terms of coverage available.

In the underlying declaratory judgment action, an injured minor, Virginia Williams, through her parents (hereinafter “the Williams”), filed suit against their insurer, Farm Bureau, asserting that they were entitled to a total of $850,000.00 in UM/UIM coverage under their automobile insurance policy. The policy provided insurance on the family’s three vehicles, but did not state the limits of liability for “each person” in the UM/UIM endorsement. Instead, the UM/UIM endorsement referred the reader to the declarations page which made three references to “each person.”

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