No agent may mean no claim payment**

A U.S. District Court in northern West Virginia concluded that a couple who signed up for auto insurance electronically intended to conduct the entire transaction electronically.

One of the plaintiffs was involved in an accident and learned that the online insurance company had not provided them with Underinsured Motorist coverage (UIM). The couple completed an online application, created an online account and electronically signed a credit card authorization that referenced email communications. However, they never returned the UIM form, which had been delivered via email. Because the form was never returned, the electronic insurance company would not pay the claim.

The couple sued the insurance company on the basis that sending the form via email was improper.

The judge cited the West Virginia’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act, that states if the parties agree to conduct a transaction electronically, then any information that is required by law to be provided in writing can be delivered electronically instead. The judge noted that the couple’s actions when signing up for the insurance were more than sufficient to demonstrate that the couple agreed to conduct the entire transaction electronically.

**If this couple had an insurance agent acting as an advocate for their insurance needs, chances are, their claim would have been paid. An agent would have done his or her due diligence and called them for not returning the necessary forms.

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