On June 4, 2009, the Virginia Supreme Court issued a decision that is sure to have tremendous impact on injury victims and their insurers in the state of Virginia. The decision means that injured victims could potentially have a greater amount of uninsured motorist coverage available if the injured victim/insured owns more than one car on any auto policy that covers that victim/insured.
The case of Virginia Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company v. Williams, re-opens Virginia law to intra-policy stacking of uninsured motorist coverage. An example of intra policy stacking would be having 2 vehicles on one insurance policy, each with $100,000 in uninsured motorist coverage. Prior to this decision, you likely only had $100,000 in coverage. You now may have $200,000 in coverage, if your policy language meets the criteria in Williams. Virginia law has long allowed auto policy insurers to prohibit intra-policy stacking as long as their policies clearly and unambiguously stated that the stacking was not allowed. In Williams, the Court looked past the language stated in the policy itself and examined the language in the declarations page of the policy. That language differed from an earlier Virginia Supreme Court case. In short, the court found it to be ambiguous and allowed an additional $550,000 in coverage!!
I am sure that the insurance companies will be rushing to correct
the language in their policies and declarations pages, to avoid this
coverage issue. If you have been involved in a serious or catastrophic
injury, and thought or have been told that there may not be enough
insurance coverage, you should immediately request a certified copy of
your insurance policy and declarations page so that an attorney can
examine that for you and assist you in obtaining additional coverage,