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Florida First DCA rules that insured was prohibited from recovering non-stacked benefits under UM policy after electing stacked benefits under separate UM policy

On April 27, 2020, in Hoffman v. Progressive Insurance Company, No. 1D19-1218, the First DCA affirmed a trial court ruling that the plaintiff was not entitled to non-stacked uninsured motorist (UM) benefits under a policy with the defendant insurance company because they accepted stacked UM benefits under a policy with another insurer. The Court concluded that the plaintiff was prohibited from recovering UM benefits under the defendant’s auto policy issued to the plaintiff because the plaintiff (1) was not occupying a motor vehicle owned by him or a family member who resided with him, and (2) elected to recover benefits under a UM policy with another insurer whose policy provided the highest limits of UM coverage for any one vehicle as to which the plaintiff was a named insured or an insured family member. The Court cited Fla. Stat. Section 627.727(9)(c), which provides that if an injured person is occupying a motor vehicle which is not owned by her or him or by a family member residing with her or him, the injured person is entitled to the highest limits of uninsured motorist coverage afforded for any one vehicle as to which she or he is a named insured or insured family member. Such coverage shall be excess over the coverage on the vehicle the injured person is occupying. The Court further noted that in Padgett v. Horace-Mann Insurance Co., 704 So. 2d 627 (Fla. 1st DCA 1997), the Court had recognized that Fla. Stat. section 627.727(9)(c) limited the stacking of UM policies regardless of whether they were issued by a single insurer or multiple insurers.

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