Victim hurt by uninsured driver who didn't PERSONALLY notify police within 24 hours cannot recover insurance benefits, despite 911 calls from others
In Grimmett v. Farmers Ins. Exch., pro-insurer judges Kirsten Kelly and Henry Saad rejected an injured man's Uninsured Motorist (UM) claim. The man had suffered serious injuries while driving his sister's car. She had insured the car with Farmers and had purchased and paid for optional UM coverage. The coverage had language limiting UM claims to those cases where the police were "informed of the accident within 24 hours."
While it was undisputed that both the other driver and a bystander had called 911 at the time of the incident, these pro-insurance judges ruled that since the injured man and his sister did not PERSONALLY initiate contact with the police within 24 hours, they were not eligible to collect the UM benefits they had purchased. The insurance-friendly judges deemed this requirement "not a mere procedural formality" and the injured man's obligation to meet it personally "not unduly harsh or unreasonable." They reached this morally bankrupt conclusion even though the purpose of meeting the obligation was met (to avoid fraudulent claims) and the victim may well have been incapable of performing the obligation.