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2010-MO-016 - Nolan v. Progressive

THIS OPINION HAS NO PRECEDENTIAL VALUE.  IT SHOULD NOT BE CITED OR RELIED ON AS PRECEDENT IN ANY PROCEEDING EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY RULE 268(d)(2), SCACR.

THE STATE OF SOUTH CAROLINA
In The Supreme Court

Eugene Edward Nolan, as Personal Representative of the Estate of John William Nolan, Appellant,

v.

Progressive Northern Insurance Company and Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, Respondents.


Appeal From Sumter County
Clifton Newman, Circuit Court Judge


Memorandum Opinion No.  2010-MO-016
Heard June 9, 2010 – Filed July 19, 2010


AFFIRMED


John Richard Moorman, of Bryan Law Firm, of Sumter, for Appellant.

J. R. Murphy and Ashley B. Stratton, of Murphy & Grantland, of Columbia, for Respondents.


          PER CURIAM:  Petitioner Eugene Edward Nolan, as personal representative of the estate of John William Nolan, appeals from the circuit court's order granting summary judgment in favor of Respondents with respect to the issue of whether a meaningful offer of underinsured motorist coverage ("UIM") was made to Nolan.  We affirm pursuant to Rule 220(b)(1), SCACR and the following authorities:  S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-160 (2002) (requiring automobile insurance carriers to offer UIM coverage up to the limits of the insured's liability coverage); Butler v. Unisun Ins. Co., 323 S.C. 402, 405, 475 S.E.2d 758, 760 (1996) (stating if the insurer fails to comply with its duty to make a meaningful offer, the policy will be reformed by operation of law to include UIM coverage up to the limits of liability insurance carried by the insured); S.C. Code Ann. § 38-77-350(C) (2002) ("An automobile insurer is not required to make a new offer of coverage on any automobile insurance policy which renews, extends, changes, supersedes, or replaces an existing policy."); Floyd v. Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co., 367 S.C. 253, 264, 626 S.E.2d 6, 12 (2005) (holding where the insurer is not entitled to the statutory presumption that a meaningful offer of UIM coverage was made, the insurer can still demonstrate that a meaningful offer of UIM coverage was made to the insured under the test established in State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Wannamaker, 291 S.C. 518, 354 S.E.2d 555 (1987));  Wannamaker, 291 S.C. at 521, 354 S.E.2d at 556 (establishing the following test to determine whether the insurer made a meaningful offer of UIM coverage to the insured:  (1) the insurer's notification process must be commercially reasonable, whether oral or in writing; (2) the insurer must specify the limits of optional coverage and not merely offer additional coverage in general terms; (3) the insurer must intelligibly advise the insured of the nature of the optional coverage; and (4) the insured must be told that optional coverages are available for an additional premium); Elrod v. All, 243 S.C. 425, 436, 134 S.E.2d 410, 416 (1964) (stating a party is bound by his or her pleadings).

AFFIRMED.

TOAL, C.J., BEATTY, KITTREDGE, HEARN, JJ., and Acting Justice James E. Moore, concur.