Pennsylvania Superior Court Addresses Stacking Waivers in Single Vehicle Policies | Chicago Popular


In the Erie Ins. Exchange against Backmeier, __A.3d__, 2022 Pa. Super. 221, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court applied the precedent of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to determine that a policyholder’s waiver of stacking, performed on two single-vehicle policies at the time of issue, precluded stacking between benefit policies. underinsured motorists at the second priority level. In addition, the court applied the policy protection limit to the maximum limit of liability applicable under a single policy.

Andrew Backmeier was tragically shot and killed by an underinsured motorist while on his bicycle. His mother sought underinsured coverage under her two Erie policies that had limits of $100,000 per person, unstacked. Both policies provided for second-level priority coverage pursuant to the MVFRL as they covered vehicles not involved in the accident. Erie filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a statement that the estate’s recovery of Backmeier was limited to $100,000, as the estate sought $200,000 and claimed that inter-policy stacking had not been reversed on the two policies that only covered individual vehicles. The Superior Court upheld the trial court’s ruling for Erie. It applied existing precedent to conclude that the stacking waivers were valid because they were written at the inception of single vehicle policies, and no meaning other than the waiver of inter-policy stacking could be attached to the waivers. Furthermore, the protection limit clause did not violate the MVFRL because it limited retrieval to the same level based on a conscious opt-out of stacking.


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Written by Natalia Chi

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