Schedule a Consultation | Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Trial lawyers specializing in personal injury and civil litigation

Man's injury claim and underinsured motorist claim summarily dismissed based on insurer's claim of non-renewal.

Billy Rayfield sought to collect damages for his car wreck injuries.  He sued his own insurer, also, for Uninsured Motorist benefits.  The insurer, American Reliable Insurance Company [there's and oxymoron for you] argued that it had discontinued Rayfield's policy for failing to pay his renewal premium.  The insurer presented testimony about its routines and claimed that Rayfield received notice of premiums due and failed to respond.  Rayfield testified that he did mail a money order to the envelope listed on his certificate of insurance.  One would think that this would raise an issue of credibility:  do we believe the people who claim that their procedures are never wrong, or the guy who claims he did something, but has no documentary corroboration?

The appellate judges ruled, however, that Rayfield's "unsubstantiated self-serving allegations are insufficient to establish that a genuine issue of material fact exists." Furthermore, the "mailbox rule" was not applied to raise a presumption of payment delivery, because the Judges concluded that Rayfield used the "wrong" address for sending renewal premiums.  On that basis, the Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of his claim against Reliable.  Since he was now "proven" to have been uninsured, the Court also dismissed his claim against the other driver.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262