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MICHAEL SHAN STEVENS v. KEMPER INSURANCE COMPANY NATIONAL DEALER SERVICES COMPANY (05/10/89)

filed: May 10, 1989.

MICHAEL SHAN STEVENS, APPELLANT,
v.
KEMPER INSURANCE COMPANY; NATIONAL DEALER SERVICES COMPANY, MILLER-MCVIEGH FORD, INC.; AND SUTTON INSURANCE ASSOCIATES, APPELLEE, V. THE HARTFORD ACCIDENT AND INDEMNITY COMPANY, APPELLEE. LEONARD AND ESTHER CARR, APPELLANT, V. LUMBERMENS MUTUAL CASUALTY CO., APPELLEE



Appeal from the Judgment entered January 20, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, Civil Division, at No. 82-638-CD. Appeal from the Judgment entered July 27, 1988 in the Court of Common Pleas of Clearfield County, Civil Division, at No. 87-406-CD.

COUNSEL

John R. Ryan, Clearfield, for appellant (at 179).

James Naddeo, Clearfield, for appellant (at 1023).

Robert L. Martin, State College, for Kemper Ins., appellee (at 179) and for Lumbermens Mut., appellee (at 1023).

Cavanaugh, Del Sole and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Del Sole

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 264]

These cases were consolidated before us on appeal from orders granting Appellee, Lumbermens Mutual Casualty Company's, (Lumbermens) motions for summary judgment. The orders were issued based upon the trial court's conclusion that Lumbermen did not fail to provide the required notice of cancellation of an insurance policy because a policy was never issued in this case. We affirm the trial court's ruling, but on different grounds. We conclude that the notice provided in this case was sufficient to meet the statutory requirements.

Appellant, Stevens, completed and submitted to his agent, Sutton Insurance Associates, an application for automobile insurance coverage with Lumbermens. That same day,

[ 384 Pa. Super. Page 265]

January 4, 1980, Stevens paid $175.00 toward his insurance premium and was issued a binder. On January 14, 1980, Stevens was orally advised by Sutton that Lumbermen declined to write the policy. Three days later Sutton mailed a letter to Stevens which stated in part: "Be advised that your application for automobile insurance with the Kemper Insurance Company (parent company of Lumbermens) has been declined due to your driving record." Stevens premium payment was returned to him by check which he cashed on January 26, 1980. Almost two months later Stevens purchased an automobile which was subsequently involved in a motor vehicle accident with Appellants, Mr. and Mrs. Carr.

The automobile accident precipitated a series of legal actions. The Carrs filed suit against Stevens to recover damages for personal injuries suffered as a result of the accident. A verdict in favor of the Carrs was rendered in the amount of $155,000.00 plus delay damages and interest. A separate action was initiated by Stevens in September of 1982 against Kemper and other defendants. After the filing of two amended complaints, answers, depositions, interrogatories and requests for admissions, Kemper/Lumbermens sought summary judgment. The court granted this request. A third action was brought by the Carrs after Stevens assigned to them any and all rights he may have had against Kemper and Lumbermens. Lumbermens filed a motion for summary judgment based upon the trial court's disposition of its similar motion in the action brought by Stevens. As with the Stevens action, the trial court granted the motion. The trial court orders granting these motions for summary judgment are the subject of this consolidated appeal.

The accident and Stevens' subsequent suit also prompted review of Lumbermens actions by the Insurance Commissioner. The Insurance Department of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania filed a Order to Show Cause against Lumbermens which alleged various violations of ...


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