Did you settle an uninsured motorist or underinsured motorist bodily injury claim in AZ in or after 2015? You could be owed more money. Fill out the form to find out your rights »
Hagens Berman filed a class-action lawsuit against CSAA General Insurance Company on behalf of Arizona drivers, arguing that under Arizona law, an insurer must pay uninsured/underinsured (UIM) motorist benefits on a per-vehicle basis, thus multiplying the single coverage limit by the number of vehicles insured under the policy. Formerly, insurers such as CSAA would pay only the maximum benefit for a single vehicle, shortchanging their customers by thousands of dollars.
HOW DO I KNOW IF I’M AFFECTED?
If you have collected benefits under a UIM policy from any of the following insurers, you may be owed more money:
- CSAA General Insurance Company
- Liberty Mutual
- LM General
- American Family
- Economy Preferred
ABOUT THE LAWSUIT AGAINST CSAA GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY
Hagens Berman sued CSAA General Insurance Company in April 2022 on behalf of an Arizona woman whose mother was killed in an auto accident by an underinsured driver. The plaintiff made a claim for UIM benefits under her own insurance policy, which provided $50,000 of UIM coverage. Her insurer paid $50,000 under this policy. The plaintiff then sought an additional $50,000 because her mother had UIM coverage on a second vehicle. The insurer disagreed that the plaintiff should be able to “stack” these coverages, so the plaintiff sued on behalf of all Arizona drivers in similar situations.
After the suit was filed, the federal court sent the case to the Arizona Supreme Court to resolve the question of whether the plaintiff could obtain payment of UIM benefits on a per-vehicle basis. The Supreme Court’s decision confirms that the answer is yes; the plaintiff is not limited to the $50,000 limit that applies to a single vehicle but could claim an additional $50,000 in benefits associated with the second vehicle. This decision will govern a host of cases raising similar claims.
ABOUT THE ARIZONA SUPREME COURT’S DECISION
The Arizona Supreme Court’s July 2023 decision says that “Notwithstanding creative policy drafting intended to evade statutory requirements — including technical definitions of coverages and extensive limitation of liability clauses,” insurers must allow insureds to recover under all of their UIM policies in certain situations, not just one. The court also concluded that a single policy insuring multiple vehicles provides separate UIM coverage to each vehicle. This means, effectively, that if a driver has coverage for several cars, insurance companies will now have to let them add up all UIM coverage they purchased, unless the insurance company met several strict statutory requirements, which are often violated by the insurer.
In a July 2023 decision, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that injured drivers must be allowed to “stack” or combine uninsured/underinsured (UIM) coverages if multiple vehicles are insured under a single insurance policy, unless the language of the policy meets certain strict requirements that many insurers violate. This means that drivers injured or killed by uninsured or underinsured motorists may have claims for significantly more insurance benefits under Arizona law, in addition to what they might have already been paid by their insurers. “We are pleased with the Court’s decision in this matter, which holds insurance companies accountable to their customers. For too long, insurance companies have been underpaying Arizona’s most vulnerable car accident victims when they make uninsured or underinsured motorist claims,” said Robert Carey, the attorney who led the case.