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CHARLIE RAGIN v. ROYAL GLOBE INSURANCE COMPANY (06/17/83)

filed: June 17, 1983.

CHARLIE RAGIN, APPELLANT,
v.
ROYAL GLOBE INSURANCE COMPANY



No. 2078 Philadelphia 1981, APPEAL FROM THE ORDER OF JULY 14, 1981 IN THE COURT OF COMMON PLEAS OF PHILADELPHIA COUNTY, TRIAL DIVISION, LAW, No. 226 MAY TERM, 1980.

COUNSEL

Stephen Rodos, Philadelphia, for appellant.

George D. Sheehan, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Hester, Cirillo and Johnson, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 181]

On April 18, 1979, appellant was injured when the automobile he was driving collided with that of another driver. As a result of his claim against the other driver, Aetna Insurance Company, the other driver's insurer, paid him $15,000. This was the maximum amount appellant could recover under that driver's insurance policy. Since appellant believed that this amount did not fully compensate him for his injuries, he filed a claim with his own insurer, appellee, Royal Globe Insurance Company ("Royal Globe"), seeking to recover additional sums under the uninsured motorist provision of his insurance policy. After Royal Globe refused payment, appellant filed a motion to compel arbitration. An order to arbitrate was subsequently issued by the lower court. After a hearing, the panel of arbitrators awarded appellant $15,000 under the uninsured motorist provision of his policy. On July 13, 1981, upon motion of Royal Globe, the lower court entered an order vacating the award, and entered judgment in favor of Royal Globe. This appeal followed.

Appellant's first contention is that he is entitled to recover under the uninsured motorist clause of his insurance policy because the other driver's liability coverage was not sufficient to compensate him fully for the injuries he sustained. More specifically, appellant argues that an underinsured driver is considered to be an uninsured driver under the Act of August 14, 1963, P.L. 909, § 1, as amended, Act of December 19, 1968, P.L. 1254, No. 397, § 1, 40 Pa.C.S.A. 2000(a).*fn1 We disagree.

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 182]

Initially, we note that the other driver was insured for the minimum amount required under Pennsylvania law.*fn2 Therefore, White v. Concord Mutual Insurance Co., 296 Pa. Super. 171, 442 A.2d 713 (1982) controls the resolution of this issue. In White, an en banc panel of this court held that a motorist who has insured his automobile in compliance with Pennsylvania law is not considered to be an uninsured motorist under 40 Pa.C.S.A. 2000(a). Consequently, one who is involved in an accident with such a driver, and who incurs damages in excess of the amount recoverable under the other driver's insurance policy, is not entitled to recover additional damages under the uninsured motorist provision of his own policy of automobile insurance.*fn3

Appellant's second contention is that the arbitration award may not be vacated absent a showing of fraud or misconduct on the part of the arbitrators, or the denial of a hearing.

The standard of review in the instant case is governed by the Pennsylvania Arbitration Act, Act of October

[ 315 Pa. Super. Page 1835]

, 1980, P.L. 693, No. 142, § 501, 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 7302 which provides, in ...


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