Minnesota Supreme Court Expands Availability of Excess Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage under Section 65B.49, subd. 3a(5) of the Minnesota No-Fault Act.

Following a school bus accident in February 2008 and a settlement with the insurers for the at-fault vehicle and school bus, an injured bus passenger sought excess UIM coverage under his family’s auto insurance policy. Even though the school bus had $1,000,000 in UIM coverage and his damages only totaled $140,000, the injured passenger only received $34,543.70 from the school bus’s policy because 18 other individuals were also injured. The injured passenger thus sought $65,456 in excess UIM benefits from his policy, which provided $100,000 in UIM coverage. In a split decision issued on August 5, 2015, the Minnesota Supreme Court held in Sleiter v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., — N.W.2d —, 2015 WL 4637198 that the injured passenger was entitled to excess UIM benefits because the $34,543.70 he received was the “coverage available” under the bus’s UIM policy and was less than his own UIM limits.  Read more here.

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