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Sackett Line Of Cases Followed To Award Stacking On 4 Car Policy In Uninsured Motorist Case

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In Bumbarger v. Peerless Indemnity Insurance Company, No. 2010-1563-CD (Ammerman, J. Clearfield County Feb. 3, 2012) a trial court recently addressed a stacking issue involving the application of the “Sackett” line of cases from the Pennsylvania Supreme and Superior Courts to a stacking argument. In this case, Bumbarger initially had a 2 car policy in 2007 and rejected stacking. She then added a third vehicle later in 2007 and a fourth vehicle early in 2009. At no time when the additional vehicles were added to the policy was a new rejection of stacking waiver signed. She was then injured in a car accident with an uninsured motorist in December 2009, after all of the vehicles were added.

She made a claim for stacked uninsured motorist benefits by claiming that Peerless owed her stacked coverage because a new rejection of stacking form was never executed after the initial rejection form was signed for the two car policy. Peerless denied that stacking applied because it believed that the vehicles were added by default under a “newly acquired auto” clause. The trial court finds that the vehicles were not added by default under the “newly acquired auto” clause but were added instead by endorsement. The default addition of vehicles only applies when the company is covering a vehicle it does not know about. In this case, the company already knew about the new vehicles before they were added to the policy by endorsement. Thus, under the Sackett line of cases, stacking applies.

For a copy of the Court’s opinion please contact Scott Cooper at Schmidt Kramer Injury lawyers in Harrisburg.

Scott B. Cooper
Schmidt Kramer PC
209 State Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 232-6300 – Telephone
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scooper@schmidtkramer.com
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