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74 Md. L. Rev. Endnotes 1 (2014)

handle is hein.journals/endnot74 and id is 1 raw text is: 










MARYLAND'S CONTRACTUAL CONCEPTION OF INSURANCE:
         THE IMPROVIDENT GRANT OF CERTIORARI IN
                         PICD v. STATE FARM

                         STEVEN M. KLEPPER*

     On January 24, 2014, the Court of Appeals of Maryland granted certi-
orari in People's Insurance Counsel Division v. State Farm Fire & Casual-
ty Co. (PICD v. State Farm).1 Question one of the petition was whether
the Court of Appeals should reexamine Maryland common law on constru-
ing insurance contracts and, recognizing that such contracts are not the
product of equal bargaining, hold that terms contained in an insurance poli-
cy must be strictly construed against the insurer?'2 This question is pro-
vocative but misguided. First, the appeal is from an administrative proceed-
ing where the Maryland Insurance Administration (MIA) lacked
jurisdiction to apply such principles of contract construction. Second, the
record indicates that the petitioner failed to press more apt remedies for the
facts of the case. On the substance, the petitioner advocates a rule that at
best adds nothing to the analysis and at worst destabilizes Maryland insur-
ance law.

I. BACKGROUND

     PICD v. State Farm turns on bad facts with the potential to make even
worse law. Moira and Gregory Taylor filed an administrative complaint
with the MIA when State Farm denied coverage for the collapse of their
carport during a February 2010 blizzard.3 The Taylors alleged, and the
commissioner found, that, when they decided to erect a detached carport
in 2007, Ms. Taylor called Angela Yancey, her State Farm insurance




Copyright © 2014 by Steven M. Klepper.
    * Mr. Klepper is a principal at Kramon & Graham, P.A., where his practice focuses on appel-
late advocacy and insurance coverage. He is the Editor in Chief of the Maryland Appellate Blog,
sponsored by the Litigation Section of the Maryland State Bar Association. He has not received
any compensation for drafting this article. After this article was submitted and accepted for publi-
cation, Mr. Klepper was retained to submit an amicus curiae brief in the case discussed in this ar-
ticle. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Mr. Klepper's
firm or his clients.
    1. 214 Md. App. 438, 76 A.3d 517 (2013), cert. granted, 436 Md. 501, 83 A.3d 779 (2014).
    2. Pet. for Writ of Cert. at 4, PICD v. State Farm, 436 Md. 501, 83 A.3d 779 (2014) (No.
21, Sept. Term 2014) [hereinafter Pet. Writ Cert.].
    3. PICD v. State Farm, 214 Md. App. at 440-41, 76 A.3d at 519.

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