Philip Jordan and Roberta Jordan v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, Inc., 2013COA47 (March 28, 2013)

Mind the gap. In this case, the gap is between a settlement less than the policy limits of an insured motorist who caused an accident, and the total amount of actual damages. Under a former version of CRS 10-4-609, underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage must cover the difference between any settlement and the total amount of damages – a reduction approach. But, the law changed, and now UIM policies must only cover the amount of total damages in excess of the policy limits of an insured motorist. Here, the UIM policy was excess and consistent with CRS 10-4-609. The court of appeals therefore held that UIM coverage was not available where, as here, the settlement was less than the policy limits of the available insurance. In light of the public policy reflected by the statute, the court was not free to reach a different result. Thus, there was no unreasonable denial of coverage.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2012/12CA0934-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8888&courtid=1

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