MAJOR VERDICT: TRAVELERS INSURANCE NOT ALLOWED TO REDUCE INJURY COVERAGE AFTER AN ACCIDENT
April 14th, 2022
For Immediate Release
Hoffman DiMuzio is proud to announce that fellow attorney Michael W. Glaze has secured a favorable verdict in Birmingham et al. v. Travelers New Jersey Insurance Co. et al., a significant case regarding the insurance company’s attempt to reduce PIP coverage limits pursuant a claim.
Following two separate auto accidents involving each of the plaintiffs, a Travelers Insurance unit, St. Paul Protective Insurance Co., paid each plaintiff only a fraction of the PIP coverage amounts included in their policies. Of the $15,000 in PIP coverage they were owed, one plaintiff only received $13,800 and the other a mere $12,000.
St. Paul claimed that the coverage had been reduced because the deductible and co-pay amounts were to be subtracted from the $15,000 total PIP coverage, leaving the insurance company responsible only for the remainder.
Mr. Glaze, arguing on behalf of both plaintiffs in front of The New Jersey Superior Court Appellate Division, asserted that the insureds’ policies (both identical) plainly cited $15,000 of coverage, that reference to a reduction was not clearly expressed, and that the insureds would have reasonable expectation that they would receive their full policy amount.
The three-judge panel agreed. “The ambiguity in the policies is primarily animated by the lack of clarity as to the effect of a deductible or copayment on the policies’ limits,” Judge Arnold Natali Jr. said in the court’s published opinion.
“In no section of the declaration page, coverage provisions, limits of liability section or exclusionary language does Travelers clearly state the statutorily mandated coverage limits would be reduced by the amounts an insured pays for the required deductible and copayment,” Judge Natali added. The “statutorily mandated coverage limits” refers to a New Jersey law requiring insurance companies to provide a minimum of $15,000 in medical expense coverage.
The decision prohibits Travelers from reducing the plaintiffs’ coverage limits by deductibles or copays and ensures that Mr. Glaze’s clients will receive the entire $15,000 of personal injury protection.
About Michael W. Glaze
Michael W. Glaze is a practicing attorney at The Law Offices of Hoffman DiMuzio. His concentration is on personal injury, auto liability, premises liability and personal injury protection.
About Hoffman DiMuzio
Hoffman DiMuzio is a full-service law firm proudly representing South Jersey residents in all legal matters for over forty years. The firm maintains six convenient office locations in Franklinville, Mullica Hill, Sewell, Turnersville, Woodbury and Center City, Philadelphia.
About This Case
- Birmingham et al. v. Travelers New Jersey Insurance Co. et al
- Case number A-0429-21
- In the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division
- Before Judges Accurso, Vernoia, and Natali
- Argued October 12, 2022 – Decided March 31, 2023