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Case No. 18-0692

Lester Dunigan
v.
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company d/b/a Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Appellant

Lester Dunigan

Appellee

Liberty Mutual Insurance Company d/b/a Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company

Attorneys for Appellant

Jeff Carter and Zachary C. Priebe

Attorneys for Appellee

Andrew D. Hall and Benjamin T. Erickson

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
18-0692
Date Published:
Jun 05, 2019
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Paul D. Scott, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Heard by Vogel, C.J., and Mullins and Bower, JJ.  Opinion by Mullins, J.  (15 pages)

            Lester Dunigan appeals the adverse summary judgment ruling on his claim for underinsured motorist coverage against Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (Liberty Mutual).  He argues the district court erred by applying Illinois law to the insurance policy, contending the plain language of the policy required the application of Iowa law.  Further, he argues Liberty Mutual failed to obtain a written declination of underinsured motorist coverage as required by Iowa Code section 516A.1 (2014), which results in underinsured motorist coverage being read into the policy.  OPINION HOLDS: We find the district court did not err by applying Illinois law as Illinois has the most significant relationship to the transaction and the parties.  Under Illinois law, because Dunigan opted to have only the statutory minimum amount of uninsured motorist liability coverage required by law, Liberty Mutual was not required to include underinsured motorist liability.  Accordingly, Dunigan cannot recover underinsured motorist benefits under his policy.  We affirm the district court’s grant of Liberty Mutual’s motion for summary judgment.

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