Nichols v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co.

Appellant was injured while working for Employer, which had an insurance policy issued by Zurich American Insurance Company. The policy included an underinsured motorist (UIM) endorsement. After settling with the tortfeasor, Appellant sought damages from the UIM coverage in the Zurich policy. After Zurich refused Appellant’s claim, Appellant sued Zurich. Ultimately, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Zurich on the grounds that the UIM coverage included in the policy was the result of a mutual mistake in the making of the insurance contract. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded for entry of an order granting Appellant’s motion for partial summary judgment on the issue of UIM coverage, holding that reformation of the insurance contract on the grounds of mutual mistake was improper because (1) the facts did not establish that at the time the insurance contract was formed, the minds of the contracting parties met with the common intent to execute a policy that excluded UIM coverage; and (2) Zurich did not assert the mistake or deny the existence of UIM coverage until after Appellant had released the tortfeasor. View "Nichols v. Zurich Am. Ins. Co." on Justia Law