3937.18 Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage.

(A) Any policy of insurance delivered or issued for delivery in this state with respect to any motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this state that insures against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury or death suffered by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle, may, but is not required to, include uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages.

Unless otherwise defined in the policy or any endorsement to the policy, "motor vehicle," for purposes of the uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages, means a self-propelled vehicle designed for use and principally used on public roads, including an automobile, truck, semi-tractor, motorcycle, and bus. "Motor vehicle" also includes a motor home, provided the motor home is not stationary and is not being used as a temporary or permanent residence or office. "Motor vehicle" does not include a trolley, streetcar, trailer, railroad engine, railroad car, motorized bicycle, golf cart, off-road recreational vehicle, snowmobile, fork lift, aircraft, watercraft, construction equipment, farm tractor or other vehicle designed and principally used for agricultural purposes, mobile home, vehicle traveling on treads or rails, or any similar vehicle.

(B) For purposes of any uninsured motorist coverage included in a policy of insurance, an "uninsured motorist" is the owner or operator of a motor vehicle if any of the following conditions applies:

(1) There exists no bodily injury liability bond or insurance policy covering the owner's or operator's liability to the insured.

(2) The liability insurer denies coverage to the owner or operator, or is or becomes the subject of insolvency proceedings in any state.

(3) The identity of the owner or operator cannot be determined, but independent corroborative evidence exists to prove that the bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death of the insured was proximately caused by the negligence or intentional actions of the unidentified operator of the motor vehicle. For purposes of division (B)(3) of this section, the testimony of any insured seeking recovery from the insurer shall not constitute independent corroborative evidence, unless the testimony is supported by additional evidence.

(4) The owner or operator has diplomatic immunity.

(5) The owner or operator has immunity under Chapter 2744. of the Revised Code.

An "uninsured motorist" does not include the owner or operator of a motor vehicle that is self-insured within the meaning of the financial responsibility law of the state in which the motor vehicle is registered.

(C) If underinsured motorist coverage is included in a policy of insurance, the underinsured motorist coverage shall provide protection for insureds thereunder for bodily injury, sickness, or disease, including death, suffered by any insured under the policy, where the limits of coverage available for payment to the insured under all bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies covering persons liable to the insured are less than the limits for the underinsured motorist coverage. Underinsured motorist coverage in this state is not and shall not be excess coverage to other applicable liability coverages, and shall only provide the insured an amount of protection not greater than that which would be available under the insured's uninsured motorist coverage if the person or persons liable to the insured were uninsured at the time of the accident. The policy limits of the underinsured motorist coverage shall be reduced by those amounts available for payment under all applicable bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies covering persons liable to the insured.

For purposes of underinsured motorist coverage, an "underinsured motorist" does not include the owner or operator of a motor vehicle that has applicable liability coverage in the policy under which the underinsured motorist coverage is provided.

(D) With respect to the uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages included in a policy of insurance, an insured shall be required to prove all elements of the insured's claim that are necessary to recover from the owner or operator of the uninsured or underinsured motor vehicle.

(E) The uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages included in a policy of insurance shall not be subject to an exclusion or reduction in amount because of any workers' compensation benefits payable as a result of the same injury or death.

(F) Any policy of insurance that includes uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages may, without regard to any premiums involved, include terms and conditions that preclude any and all stacking of such coverages, including but not limited to:

(1) Interfamily stacking, which is the aggregating of the limits of such coverages by the same person or two or more persons, whether family members or not, who are not members of the same household;

(2) Intrafamily stacking, which is the aggregating of the limits of such coverages purchased by the same person or two or more family members of the same household.

(G) Any policy of insurance that includes uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages and that provides a limit of coverage for payment of damages for bodily injury, including death, sustained by any one person in any one automobile accident, may, notwithstanding Chapter 2125. of the Revised Code, include terms and conditions to the effect that all claims resulting from or arising out of any one person's bodily injury, including death, shall collectively be subject to the limit of the policy applicable to bodily injury, including death, sustained by one person, and, for the purpose of such policy limit shall constitute a single claim. Any such policy limit shall be enforceable regardless of the number of insureds, claims made, vehicles or premiums shown in the declarations or policy, or vehicles involved in the accident.

(H) Any policy of insurance that includes uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages may include terms and conditions requiring that, so long as the insured has not prejudiced the insurer's subrogation rights, each claim or suit for uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages be made or brought within three years after the date of the accident causing the bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death, or within one year after the liability insurer for the owner or operator of the motor vehicle liable to the insured has become the subject of insolvency proceedings in any state, whichever is later.

(I) Any policy of insurance that includes uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages may, subject to section 3937.46 of the Revised Code, include terms and conditions that preclude coverage for bodily injury or death suffered by an insured under specified circumstances, including but not limited to any of the following circumstances:

(1) While the insured is operating or occupying a motor vehicle owned by, furnished to, or available for the regular use of a named insured, a spouse, or a resident relative of a named insured, if the motor vehicle is not specifically identified in the policy under which a claim is made, or is not a newly acquired or replacement motor vehicle covered under the terms of the policy under which the uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are provided;

(2) While the insured is operating or occupying a motor vehicle without a reasonable belief that the insured is entitled to do so, provided that under no circumstances will an insured whose license has been suspended, revoked, or never issued, be held to have a reasonable belief that the insured is entitled to operate a motor vehicle;

(3) When the bodily injury or death is caused by a motor vehicle operated by any person who is specifically excluded from coverage for bodily injury liability in the policy under which the uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are provided;

(4) While any employee, officer, director, partner, trustee, member, executor, administrator, or beneficiary of the named insured, or any relative of any such person, is operating or occupying a motor vehicle, unless the employee, officer, director, partner, trustee, member, executor, administrator, beneficiary, or relative is operating or occupying a motor vehicle for which uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are provided in the policy;

(5) When the person actually suffering the bodily injury, sickness, disease, or death is not an insured under the policy.

(J) In the event of payment to any person under the uninsured motorist coverage, underinsured motorist coverage, or both uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages, and subject to the terms and conditions of that coverage, the insurer making such payment is entitled, to the extent of the payment, to the proceeds of any settlement or judgment resulting from the exercise of any rights of recovery of that person against any person or organization legally responsible for the bodily injury or death for which the payment is made, including any amount recoverable from an insurer that is or becomes the subject of insolvency proceedings, through such proceedings or in any other lawful manner. No insurer shall attempt to recover any amount against the insured of an insurer that is or becomes the subject of insolvency proceedings, to the extent of those rights against the insurer that the insured assigns to the paying insurer.

(K) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the inclusion of underinsured motorist coverage in any uninsured motorist coverage included in a policy of insurance.

(L) The superintendent of insurance shall study the market availability of, and competition for, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages in this state and shall, from time to time, prepare status reports containing the superintendent's findings and any recommendations. The first status report shall be prepared not later than two years after October 31, 2001. To assist in preparing these status reports, the superintendent may require insurers and rating organizations operating in this state to collect pertinent data and to submit that data to the superintendent.

The superintendent shall submit a copy of each status report to the governor, the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairpersons of the committees of the general assembly having primary jurisdiction over issues relating to automobile insurance.

Cite as R.C. § 3937.18

History. Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.181, HB 278, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.

Effective Date: 10-31-2001

Related Legislative Provision: See 129th General AssemblyFile No.181, HB 278, §3