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Brown v. American Family Mutual Insurance Co.
Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division
April 17, 2019
DANNY R. BROWN and DIANA BROWN, Individually and as Husband and Wife, Plaintiffs-Respondents,
AMERICAN FAMILY MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendant-Appellant.
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF OREGON COUNTY Honorable Harvey S.
W. LYNCH, J.
Family Mutual Insurance Company ("American Family")
appeals the trial court's judgment in favor of Danny and
Diana Brown (individually referred to by their first names
and collectively referred to as "the Browns"). In
that judgment, the trial court determined that the
Browns' four American Family auto insurance policies
("the Policies") are ambiguous as to whether the
Policies' underinsured motorist ("UIM")
coverage limits stack. Because the Policies unambiguously
prohibit stacking, we reverse and remand.
the Policies' declarations contain a $100, 000 maximum
per person UIM coverage limit. The dispute as to whether these
UIM coverage limits stack, as framed by the parties in the
trial court and now on appeal, revolves around the provisions
in the "limits of liability" and "other
insurance" sections of the Policies' UIM
endorsements. Those sections, which are identical in the
Policies, provide as follows:
The limits of liability of this coverage as shown in the
declarations apply, subject to the following:
1. The limit for each person is the maximum we will pay for
all persons as the result of bodily injury to one person in
any one accident.
2. Subject to the limit for each person, the limit for each
accident is the maximum for bodily injury sustained by two or
more persons in any one accident.
We will pay no more than these maximums no matter how many
vehicles described in the declarations, insured persons,
claims, claimants or policies or vehicles are involved.
The limits of liability of this coverage may not be added to
or stacked onto the limits of liability of any other
underinsured motorist coverage issued by us to you or any
member of an insured person's household.
If there are any limits of liability remaining after applying
the reductions provided for in the "Limits of
Liability" section of this endorsement and if there is
other underinsured motorist insurance provided by another
insurance company on a loss covered by this endorsement, we
will pay our share according to this policy's proportion
of the total remaining limits to the remaining limits of all
underinsured motorist insurance provided by other insurance
companies. But, any remaining limits of insurance provided
under this endorsement for an insured person while ...
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