In Saris v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, ____ So.3d ____ (Fla. 4th DCA 2010), Saris carried uninsured motorists insurance with State Farm. The insured was injured by a underinsured / uninsured motorist. The insured did not pursue a claim against the person who caused the accident, but instead filed an uninsured motorists claim against State Farm.
State Farm moved to dismiss the claim against it based on its policy provision which required the insured to sue the at-fault driver before being allowed to pursue State Farm for uninsured motorists benefits. The trial court agreed with State Sarm and entered judgment for State Farm.
The 4th DCA reversed, finding that the provision in State Farm’s policy requiring its insured to sue the at-fault driver before pursing State Farm for uninsured motorists benefits was void for violating public policy.
The 4th’s opinion is consistent with the decision of the 3rd DCA in Diaz-Hernandez v. State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., 19 So3d 996 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009). I blogged on Diaz-Hernandez here: https://www.floridainsuranceblog.com/articles/insurance-coverage-auto/uninsuredunderinsured-motorist/