Geico has challenged a New Jersey State Statute requiring auto policies issued out of state to provide a minimum amount of bodily injury liability coverage when the insured drivers are involved in accidents in New Jersey. The case is <a href="http://blog.wcmlaw.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/12/Guerline-v.-Brian-v.-Richards.pdf">Guerline v. Brian v. Richards</a>, case number 081799, in the New Jersey Supreme Court.
As of December 7, 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court justices had granted Geico’s petition for certification of a state Appellate Division panel’s August ruling directing the insurer to provide a minimum of $15,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for claims against its Florida-based policyholder who was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Newark, NJ in 2013.
Even though the Florida-based policyholder’s auto policy did not include any bodily injury coverage, the appellate panel found that, under a decades old New Jersey law dubbed the “Deemer statute,” Geico was still required to supply the minimum amounts of such coverage included in a standard auto policy issued in the Garden State ($15,000 per person or $30,000 for more than one person per accident).
The Supreme Court justices will decide the following question: Does the Deemer statute apply to an automobile insurance policy written in Florida for a Florida resident who had an accident in New Jersey, where the Florida policy did not include any bodily injury liability coverage?
The Supreme Court of New Jersey’s decision will have a major impact on motor vehicle litigation in New Jersey. Thanks to Jon Avolio for his contribution to this post. Please email <a href="mailto:BGibbons@wcmlaw.com">Brian Gibbons</a> with any questions.