United Servs. Auto. Ass’n v. Lucas (Signed Opinion)Annotate this Case
At issue in this case was W. Va. Code 33-6-36, which, in certain circumstances, requires insurance companies to continue motor vehicle liability coverage for a spouse after the death of, or separation or divorce from, the named insured. Francis McComas separated from and then divorced a United Service Automobile Association (USAA) named insured. USAA removed McComas from the named insured’s policy. Seven days after the divorce, McComas lost control of his vehicle and collided with Kimberly Lucas’s vehicle. McComas died in the collision. Lucas, who was seriously injured, filed a lawsuit against McComas’s estate. Plaintiff included a declaratory judgment count against USAA, contending that the USAA motor vehicle policy with McComas’s former spouse provided liability coverage for McComas’s negligence. The circuit court granted judgment for Plaintiff, determining that USAA was required by section 33-6-36 to notify McComas of his right to buy a separate liability insurance policy upon canceling McComas’s liability coverage, and because that notice was not given to McComas, USAA was required to provide liability coverage to McComas’s estate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that, under the circumstances, 33-6-36 required USAA to notify McComas of the termination of his coverage and his right to request a separate policy.