United States Court of Appeals for the fourth circuit

Argued: March 22, 2013           Decided: May 16, 2013

Ronnie Steve Dooley v. Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company

This case involved an issue regarding automobile insurance issued by Hartford Accident & Indemnity Co. and a customer that felt cheated by its policy. Dooley had three cars insured under Hartfor Accident and Indemnity Co. and expected a coverage of $100,000 per car. However, once he was severely injured, he realized that his insurance did not work the way that he expected and decided to sue his insurance company. He then found out that the company had an anti-stacking clause policy and had set a limit of $100,000 coverage per person. Dooley asked the court to allow him to stack the policies becaue his insurance policy was ambiguous, therefore he deserved $300,000 for the total of his 3 cars. 

The appellate court reviewed whether the district court was wrong in deciding that the Harford policy prohibited Ronnie S. Dooley from combining the uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage for each vehicle. After reviewing the case, the court found that under Virginia code, UM/ UIM coverage must equal the general liability coverage, so under law, the Hartford policy was not erred because it provided equal amount of UM/UIM coverage. The appellate court affirmed the district court’s judgment in favor of Hartford. 

Cases like this happen every day, insurance companies will do anything to save money. When purchasing insurance, make sure that you know exacly what you are buying. If you want more information feel free to download a free copy of our book that explains all of the tricks of insurance companies. 

Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
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