Insurer Wins Motion to Reduce Underinsured Motorist Liability Due to “Coverage Available”

In Charles Thesing v. Imperium Insurance Company, Plaintiff Thesing was injured in a car accident and filed an action seeking underinsured motorist benefits from Defendant Imperium Insurance Company. Imperium moved for summary judgment, arguing an exclusion in Thesing’s insurance policy precluded him from recovering excess UIM benefits. The Court noted the exclusion eliminated the required UIM coverage and conflicted with the No-Fault Act, therefore denying Imperium’s motion for summary judgement.

In the alternative, Imperium moved for an order reducing its liability from $100,000 to $75,000. Thesing was insured under a policy with Imperium that provides a limit of $100,000 in UIM coverage. Imperium claimed Thesing also qualified through his job for up to $25,000 in UIM benefits from the MnDOT policy. The Court noted both Minnesota law and the Imperium policy provide for the reduction of excess UIM liability based on the “coverage available” from the occupied vehicle. Thesing argued the Court cannot reduce Imperium’s liability because MnDOT had not agreed to pay its coverage. The Court noted “coverage available” does not mean the amount received by the person. The Court held Thesing has “coverage available” under the MnDOT policy regardless of whether he has yet to actually seek and receive UIM benefits. As a result, the Court granted Imperium’s motion and reduced its UIM liability by the $25,000 in UIM coverage available to Thesing on the MnDOT policy.

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