Per Person Bodily Injury Policy Limits

The Mississippi Supreme Court recently considered automobile insurance policy language regarding per person bodily injury liability limits. In Rylee v. Progressive Gulf Ins. Co., plaintiff’s husband was injured in a motorcycle accident. After each plaintiff, as husband and wife, received full “each person” policy limits for damages resulting from the bodily injury, they sued their own insurers for uninsured-underinsured motorist (UM) benefits, with each plaintiff claiming entitlement to separate “each person” policy limit awards.

The Mississippi Supreme Court, however, found that the clear language of the UM insurance policies specified that the policy limit for “each person” included any person’s claim based on one person’s bodily injury. The Court also cited precedent, in which it had previously found that to recover more than the “each person” limit for one person, there must be more than one person who sustained bodily injury during the accident. Accordingly, the court held that the wife’s loss-of-consortium claim fell under the policy limit for damages resulting from the husband’s bodily injury. Because the husband had already received full policy limits for damages resulting from his bodily injury, the claims against the insurers were properly dismissed on summary judgment.

Rylee v. Progressive Gulf Ins. Co.

Eric W. Sella