Failure To Comply With Pa.M.V.F.R.L. Renewal Notice Requirements Not Bad Faith, Pa. Federal Judge Rules

Pittsburgh, July 12th. A federal judge in the Western District of Pennsylvania recently granted summary Judgment to an auto insurer in a coverage and bad faith case, ruling that in the presence of a valid UM/UIM rejection by the insured, subsequent non-compliance with the renewal notice requirements of the Pa.M.V.F.R.L. neither provided the basis for policy reformation, nor a bad faith claim.

In a ruling by Magistrate Judge Kelly, adopted by Judge Hornak, the court found that the insurer’s failure to include a proper renewal notice regarding the rejection of UIM coverage was a violation of the MVFRL. It also found, however that such violations do not allow private civil remedy, beyond administrative review, and such a violation could neither form the basis of reformation of the policy, or of a bad faith cause of action

The court also found that since there had been a prior valid rejection of UM/UIM coverage by the insured, the claims adjuster’s denial of a claim for such benefits was objectively reasonable.

Keeler v. Esurance, U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania No. 20-271 (W.D.Pa. July 12, 2021) (Kelly, M.J.) Link: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/USCOURTS-pawd-2_20-cv-00271/USCOURTS-pawd-2_20-cv-00271-0