Sahloff v. Western Cas. & Surety Co

In Sahloff v. Western Cas. & Surety Co., 45 Wis. 2d 60, 70, 171 N.W.2d 914 (1969), the Court contrasted a claim for uninsured motorist coverage against one for liability coverage: In settling a claim under the endorsement, the insurer does not represent the uninsured motorist but rather itself on its own contract against its own insured who has paid a premium for this indemnity feature in his liability policy. It is neither necessary under the coverage nor desirable public policy to place the indemnity insurer in exactly the same position of a liability insurer of an uninsured motorist. Consequently the claim against the insurer on the endorsement should be and is treated differently than the cause of action the insured has against the uninsured motorist. We are not sympathetic with the argument that because the plaintiff's claim against his insurer is founded upon the negligent tort of the uninsured motorist it should be governed by the same considerations as an action for negligence. This is another phase of the argument that the insurer stands in the shoes of the uninsured motorist and therefore should have all his rights. The insurer has not so contracted in the uninsured motorist endorsement. We think it clear the action by an insured against his insurer under the uninsured motorist endorsement is an action on the policy and sounds in contract although in order to recover the insured must prove the negligence of an uninsured motorist.