An Overview of § 1734 under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL)

Section 1734 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law (MVFRL) permits a named insured to formally request in writing for the issuance of coverages tied to section 1731, either equal to or below the liability limits for bodily damage.

Statutory Text

§ 1734. Request for lower limits of coverage.

A named insured may request in writing the issuance of coverages under section 1731 (relating to availability, scope and amount of coverage) in amounts equal to or less than the limits of liability for bodily injury.

Defining Key Terms:

Named insured

This individual is the primary person listed on the insurance policy, having the capacity to dictate and alter the specifics of policy, including the coverage amount.

Issuance of coverages

This pertains to the initiation or provision of insurance coverage under the specified conditions.

Liability for bodily injury

This is a type of insurance coverage that pays for physical injuries to others caused by the insured's at-fault accident.

Importance for Pennsylvanian Drivers:

This section of the MVFRL holds import for Pennsylvanian drivers as it gives the named insured control over the degree of coverage for their insurance policies. By allowing for written requests for lower limits of coverage, it enables cost-saving for drivers who may not want or need the standard coverage amount. This could be because they possess additional health insurance, or because they think the risk is manageable for low-value vehicles.

Implication for Pennsylvania Attorneys:

For lawyers, understanding this section is crucial as it addresses a level of personal autonomy for drivers, enabling them to negotiate or lower their insurance premiums based on their financial situation or judgment of risk. As legal representatives, they need to be aware of these regulations to provide effective, personalized advice concerning auto insurance coverage and to defend financial decisions made by their clients in case of disputes.

Advanced Language Analysis:

In this section, the language is direct and metrically precise, reinforcing the importance of explicit, written requests. “A named insured may request in writing…” emphasizes the formality required; verbal agreements or assumptions are ineligible. The terms "equal to or less than" shows that while drivers can decrease their coverage limits, they can’t increase it beyond the existing liability for bodily injury. This suggests a balancing act between personal economic considerations and a statutory need to provide coverage for potential accidents.

The reference to section 1731 is a crucial aspect of understanding § 1734. Section 1731 stipulates the "availability, scope, and amount of coverage." Thus, linking these two sections implies that any changes to the coverage in § 1734 must respect the stipulations in § 1731.

This language analysis helps both drivers and attorneys to understand their rights and limitations under the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Financial Responsibility Law, ensuring legal compliance while maximizing financial and protective benefits.

About the author
Von Wooding, Esq.

Von Wooding, Esq.

Lawyer and Founder

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