The Supreme Court of Virginia has recently decided several significant cases in the insurance realm. The court has been most active, at least in number of cases, in the field of uninsured [UM] and underinsured motorist [UIM] coverages, followed closely by decisions affecting automobile liability insurance policies. Although no clearly discernable trend appears to have been established by the court's insurance decisions in the past year, several observations may be made of the cases, as well as the court's general philosophy of judicial interpretation of insurance policies. "An insurance policy is a contract; therefore, we give the words used in this policy their ordinary and usual meaning when they are susceptible of such construction. If the policy language is unambiguous, we do not resort to rules of construction. We simply apply the terms of the policy as written." The following cases should be evaluated in light of these standards.
E. L. Kincer Jr.,
Annual Survey of Virginia Law: Insurance Law,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol29/iss4/10