Berger, Reed, Rodowsky, Lawrence F. (Retired, Specially
Assigned), JJ. [*]
issue here are the applicability of the personal injury
protection (PIP) coverage provisions and the validity of the
owned but uninsured exclusion from PIP coverage in an
automobile liability policy issued by the appellee, State
Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (State Farm) to its
named insured, Alaskan Bundue-Conteh (the Claimant). These
proceedings arise on the Claimant's complaint to the
Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) that State Farm had
denied his claim for PIP benefits. Applying certain trade
practice enforcement provisions, MIA agreed with the Claimant
on the merits and, in final agency action, imposed a penalty
on State Farm by ordering payment of the benefits with
statutory interest. In an action for judicial review, the
Circuit Court for Baltimore City reversed. This appeal
followed. For the reasons set forth below, we shall affirm
the circuit court.
facts are undisputed. The Claimant was the owner of two
automobiles. His 1997 Jeep Grand Cherokee was insured by
State Farm under an automobile liability policy that included
PIP coverage. He also owned a 2006 Ford Crown Victoria that
he drove as a taxicab. It was insured for liability with
Amalgamated Casualty Insurance Co. under a policy that did
not contain PIP coverage. On November 14, 2011, while
Claimant was occupying his taxicab, it was rear-ended by
another automobile, causing Claimant personal injuries.
Claimant is seeking a recovery of PIP benefits under a policy
covering an owned motor vehicle that he was not occupying at
the time of the accident. That State Farm policy contains the
exclusion from PIP coverage that is set forth below:
"THERE IS NO COVERAGE:
"3. FOR YOU OR ANY RESIDENT RELATIVE WHILE
OCCUPYING A MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY YOU OR ANY RESIDENT
RELATIVE AND WHICH IS NOT INSURED UNDER THE LIABILITY
COVERAGE OF THIS POLICY."
are a number of provisions of the Insurance Article of the
Maryland Code that are relied upon in the arguments of the
parties. Some of those statutes are set forth below. Unless
otherwise noted, all references are to sections of Maryland
Code (1997, 2011 Repl. Vol.), Article, "Insurance,
" Title 19, "Property and Casualty Insurance,
" Subtitle 5, "Motor
Insurance – Primary Coverage."
"§ 19-501. Definitions.
"(a) In general. – In this subtitle, the
following words have the meanings indicated.
"(b) Motor Vehicle. – ...
"(2) 'Motor vehicle' does not include:
"(ii) a taxicab as defined in § 11-165 of
the Transportation Article[.]
"(c) Motor vehicle accident. – (1)
'Motor vehicle accident' means an occurrence
involving a motor vehicle that results in damage to
property or injury to a person."
"§ 19-505. Personal injury protection coverage
– In general.
"(a) Coverage required. – Unless waived in
accordance with § 19-506 of this subtitle, each insurer
that issues, sells, or delivers a motor vehicle liability
insurance policy in the State shall provide coverage for the
medical, hospital, and disability benefits described in this
section for each of the following individuals: "(1)
"(i) the first named insured, and any family
member of the first named insured who resides in the first
named insured's household, who is injured in any motor
vehicle accident, including an accident that involves an
uninsured motor vehicle or a motor vehicle the identity of
which cannot be ascertained[.] ....
"(c) Exclusions. – (1) An insurer may
exclude from the coverage described in this section benefits
"(ii) the named insured or a family member of the named
insured who resides in the named insured's household for
an injury that occurs while the named insured or family
member is occupying an uninsured motor vehicle owned by:
"1. the named insured[.]"
"§ 19-513. Limitations on recovery of ...