Orman v. GEICO General Ins.

Insurance Law

New York Law Journal

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Justice David Schmidt

Orman sought supplementary uninsured/under-insured motorist (SUM) coverage under a policy issued by GEICO. In 2007, she was rear-ended by a car owned and operated by Luna. At the time of the accident, Orman held an insurance policy with GEICO that included SUM coverage with $50,000/$100,000 policy limits. Orman later sought damages for GEICO's alleged bad faith in refusing to pay its policy limits when requested to do so. GEICO subsequently contended Orman did not sustain a serious injury or non-economic loss under Insurance Law §§5102 and 5014. The court determined an insurer is entitled to pursue a serious injury defense when sued by its insured for supplementary under-insured motorist benefits. The court also found Orman failed to allege she suffered any damages as a consequence of GEICO's alleged bad-faith refusal to pay her claim, as she did not contend that GEICO's refusal to pay her SUM benefits required her to incur any extra-contractual damages or prevented her from paying for needed medical and/or living expenses.

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