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.
Tag Archives: Motor Vehicle
Philip Jordan and Roberta Jordan v. Safeco Insurance Company of America, Inc., 2013COA47 (March 28, 2013)
Pay attention to signs telling you to move your car for street sweeping. In this case, a street sweeper backed into a parked car and the owner sued Denver. Under the Governmental Immunity Act, if the street sweeper is a “motor vehicle,” Denver could be sued; if it is “mobile machinery” the city is immune. The two categories are mutually exclusive, and, the court held, the answer is determined by the design and use of the equipment. “Motor vehicles” are designed and used to transport people and property on highways. “Mobile machinery” is designed to maintain the highways, not to transport people or property over them. The court of appeals, noting that a dump truck with a snowplow blade is a motor vehicle, determined that a street sweeper is merely mobile machinery. Denver was, therefore, immune from suit for the damage caused by the street sweeper.