Does Action for Uninsured Motorist Benefits Accrue on the Date of Accident In Case of An Uninsured Tortfeasor ?
In Kraly v. Vannewkirk (1994), 69 Ohio St.3d 627, 635 N.E.2d 323, the Ohio Supreme Court sanctioned the application of the discovery rule in the unique situation that the tortfeasor had valid liability insurance on the date of accident, but subsequently became uninsured when the liability insurer became insolvent.
"Where the liability insurer of a tortfeasor has been declared insolvent, a right of action of an insured injured by the tortfeasor against his insurer under the uninsured motorist provision of his automobile insurance contract accrues on the date that the insured receives notice of the insolvency."
In Kraly v. Vannewkirk (1994), 69 Ohio St.3d 627, 635 N.E.2d 323, the Supreme Court stated, in dicta, that if a tortfeasor was uninsured on the date of the accident, then the cause of action for uninsured motorist benefits accrued on that date. Id. at 633.
Accepting this view, the grant of summary judgment to Allstate herein was correct, since the tortfeasor, Reed, had been uninsured for some three months prior to the accident.
As the Ohio Supreme Court later recognized, "Kraly unarguably involved a unique factual situation, and this court accordingly fashioned a remedy based upon concepts of fairness and public policy." Ross v. Farmers Ins. Group of Cos., 82 Ohio St.3d 281, 287, 1998 Ohio 381, 695 N.E.2d 732.