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Legal Memorandum: Waiver of Uninsured Motorist Coverage

Issue: Whether there are repercussions for an insurer who does not obtain a valid waiver of the amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, or fails to use the proper waiver form prescribed by Florida Statutes 627.727.

Area of Law: Insurance Law, Litigation & Procedure
Keywords: Uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage; Insurer's liability; Valid waiver
Jurisdiction: Florida
Cited Cases: 999 So. 2d 1081; 513 So. 2d 233
Cited Statutes: Fla. Stat. § 627.727, § 627.727(1)
Date: 07/01/2010

When an insurer does not obtain a valid waiver of the amount of uninsured or underinsured motorist (UM) coverage, or fails to use the proper waiver form prescribed by Florida Statutes § 627.727, its claim of waiver will fail, and the court properly grants summary judgment in the plaintiff insured’s favor.  Orion Ins. Co. v. Socias, 513 So. 2d 233 (Fla. 3d DCA 1987).  See also Chmieloski v. Nat’l Union Fire Ins. Co., 563 So. 2d 164 (Fla. 2d DCA 1990) (reversing judgment in favor of insurer where the insurer failed to establish that insured rejected UM coverage).  Section 627.727 provides as to rejection, in pertinent part:

The rejection or selection of lower limits [that is, uninsured motorist coverage lower than her or his bodily injury liability limits] shall be made on a form approved by the office.  The form shall fully advise the applicant of the nature of the coverage and shall state that the coverage is equal to bodily injury liability limits unless lower limits are requested or the coverage is rejected.  The heading of the form shall be in 12-point bold type and shall state:  “You are electing not to purchase certain valuable coverage which protects you and your family or you are purchasing uninsured motorist limits less than your bodily injury liability limits when you sign this form.  Please read carefully.”  If this form is signed by a named insured, it will be conclusively presumed that there was an informed, […]

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