Cox v. Amick

In Cox v. Amick, 195 W.Va. 608, 466 S.E.2d 459 (1995), the Court reversed the trial court's ruling that each individual insured under one insurance policy had to be offered the opportunity to purchase or reject underinsured motorist coverage. Mr. Cox, the named insured on the Nationwide policy at issue, had expressly waived underinsurance coverage when he added his wife's vehicle to a policy he had owned prior to his marriage. In discussing whether each insured under an automobile insurance policy to be offered the optional insurance coverage mandated by West Virginia Code 33-6-31b, we observed, "as a practical matter, it would be very time consuming and unreasonable to expect an insurer to offer every person who would be an insured under the policy the optional coverage and then ascertain whether the optional coverage was rejected." 195 W.Va. at 615, 466 S.E.2d at 466. After determining that West Virginia Code 33-6-31(b) and -31d were required to be read in pari materia given their common subject matter, the Court applied the clear and unambiguous statutory language to hold that under W.Va. Code, 33-6-31d 1993 a knowing and intelligent rejection of optional uninsured and underinsured motorists coverages by any named insured under an insurance policy creates a presumption that all named insureds under the policy received an effective offer of the optional coverages and that such person exercised a knowing and intelligent rejection of such offer. The named insured's rejection is binding on all persons insured under the policy. (Cox, 195 W.Va. at 610, 466 S.E.2d at 461.)