April 5, 2010 – Volume 49, No. 14
From the New Mexico Court of Appeals 2010-NMCA-024, No. 32,065:
Romero v. Progressive Northwestern Insurance
Donald Romero, owner of AllTech Electric, purchased a liability policy, listing 3 vehicles, with liability limits of $100,000 for each accident and UM/UIM of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident. The policy that was issued did not contain a rejection of any amount of UM/UIM coverage. Mr. Romero was subsequently involved in an accident with an uninsured motorist and made a claim under the policy for UM coverage equal to the liability limits of coverage, citing Progressive’s failure to obtain a valid written rejection of UM coverage. Dist. Ct. held Plaintiff’s purchase of uninsured motorist coverage (UM) in amounts lower than liability limits of policy was a rejection of UM coverage. Progressive Insurance appealed the S/J for Plaintiff. The Court of Appeals affirmed. In New Mexico, the purchase of a lesser amount of UM/UIM coverage by an insured constitutes a rejection of UM/UIM coverage. New Mexico requires insurers to affirmatively offer UM/UIM coverage equal to the amount of liability coverage in an automobile insurance policy.
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