Daniel W. Thomas, et al. v. William Ray McDermitt and State Farm Mutual Insurance
On April 24, 2012, the Circuit Court of Mason County entered an Opinion and Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Request to Certify Question Regarding the Effect of An Insurer's Failure to Comply with West Virginia Code § 33-6-31d. Pursuant to West Virginia Code § 58-5-2, the court certified the following question:
Whether an insurance company's failure to use the West Virginia Insurance Commissioner's prescribed forms pursuant to W.Va. Code § 33-6-31d results in under insured motorists coverage being added to the policy as a matter of law in the amount the insurer was required to offer or merely results in the loss of the statutory presumption and a reversion to the lower standards expressed in Bias, which existed at common law prior to the enact of W.Va. Code § 33-6-31d.
For its answer to the certified question, the court found that an insurance company's failure to use the Commissioner's prescribed forms results in under insured motorists coverage being added to the policy as a matter of law. The court ordered the action be stayed pending this Court's resolution of the certified question.