The North Carolina Court of Appeals recently held that an insured’s failure to enter the policy at issue into evidence justified a directed verdict in favor of the insurer. State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Phillips, 799 S.E.2d 285 (Table), 2017 WL 2118705 (N.C. Ct. App. May 16, 2017).
The insurer filed a declaratory judgment action seeking a finding that an individual who was involved in a car accident did not qualify for underinsured motorist coverage under an automobile insurance policy. The trial court granted the insurer’s motion for directed verdict based upon the insured’s failure to enter the auto policy into evidence.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed based upon the well-established principle that an insured bears the burden of proving coverage under a policy. The court held that the insured’s reliance upon limited policy provisions cited in the insurer’s complaint was insufficient to establish coverage because the court was unable to consider other relevant definitions and terms in the policy potentially impacting coverage.