Chase v. Horace Mann Insurance Company, ___ So. 3d ___, 40 Fla. L. Weekly S97 (Fla. February 19, 2015)
In 2001, the father obtained an auto insurance policy with bodily injury limits of $100,000/$300,000 and uninsured motorist limits of $25,000/$50,000. His daughter was listed as a driver, but she was not an insured, and she did not have the right to select coverage amounts. In 2004, the daughter was substituted for her father as the sole named insured under the policy, and a new policy was issued to the father as the sole named insured. In 2005, the daughter moved out of her father’s house, and the father was removed as a listed driver from her policy. In 2007, the daughter returned to her father’s house, and her father was added as a listed driver on her policy. One month later, the father and daughter were involved in a motor vehicle accident that killed the father and injured the daughter. The trial court ruled that daughter was not bound by her father’s selection of lower limits of uninsured motorist coverage, but the First District Court of Appeal reversed, creating express and direct conflict with a decision of the Second District Court of Appeal. The Florida Supreme Court quashed the decision of the First District and approved the decision of the Second District. The supreme court held that a new policy was created when the daughter was substituted for her father as the sole named insured “because it was the first time that the only named insured on the policy had the opportunity to make statutorily required waivers,” and the “[insurance company] did not obtain a valid waiver of UM coverage under [the daughter’s] policy.” The father’s prior waiver under the same policy number were not binding upon the daughter either “as the sole named insured on her policy or as the personal representative of her father’s estate under her policy.” Justices Labarga, Pariente, and Perry concurred in Justice Quince’s majority opinion. Justice Lewis concurred in the result. Justice Canady concurred in Justice Polston’s dissenting opinion.
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