Andre A. Sansoucy for the defendant.
Ellen Mattingly for the plaintiff.
This case, here after allowance of the defendant insurer's application for direct appellate review, is the fifth case decided today involving stacking of underinsured motorist coverage in a motor vehicle insurance policy. It raises issues disposed of in LeCuyer v. Metropolitan Property & Liab. Ins. Co., ante 709 (1988), and in Moore v. Metropolitan Property & Liab. Ins. Co., ante 1010 (1988). The relevant policy was the 1983 standard motor vehicle policy, but the significant language is the same as that of the 1984 policy dealt with in the LeCuyer and Moore cases. The fact that each vehicle was listed on a separate coverage selections page makes no difference. The defendant insurer has paid $15,000 which is the single limit underinsured motorist coverage shown on the coverage selections page.
The judgment declaring that the plaintiff was entitled to stack his underinsured motorist coverage as to damages for injuries sustained in an October, 1983, accident is reversed, and a judgment, on the defendant's motion for summary judgment, shall be entered declaring that the plaintiff is entitled to recover under his underinsured motorist coverage only once to the limit stated in his policy.
Ralph J. Cafarelli for the plaintiff.
Charles M. Hughes for the defendant.
This is the last of a sextet of cases decided today concerning stacking of underinsured motorist coverage. This case involves two 1985 policies, each providing coverage for two vehicles. The plaintiff insurer, which commenced this action seeking a declaratory judgment, has offered to pay the defendant $20,000, the total of the stated underinsured motorist limit of $10,000 on each policy. The defendant, who was injured in September, 1985, while a passenger in a vehicle owned by a third party, claims that he is entitled to $10,000 with respect to each of the four vehicles in his household. A judge of the Superior Court decided the case on a statement of agreed facts and ruled in favor of the defendant, allowing the coverage to be stacked under each policy. We granted the defendant's application for direct appellate review.
For reasons stated in LeCuyer v. Metropolitan Property & Liab. Ins. Co., ante 709 (1988), and in Moore v. Metropolitan Property & Liab. Ins. Co., ante 1010 (1988), we reverse the judgment. Although the significant language of the 1985 standard policy is slightly different from that of the 1984 policy quoted in the LeCuyer opinion, the differences are inconsequential for the purposes of this case.
A judgment shall be entered declaring that the defendant is entitled only to $10,000 underinsured motorist coverage under each of the applicable policies.