Parsons v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, Del. Super. C.A. No. 09C-01-029 JTV, December 30, 2011.
Upon considering the parties’ cross-motions for summary judgement, the Court denied plaintiff’s motion and granted defendant’s. The issue was whether a policy of insurance for PIP benefits, created though the Delaware Assigned Risk, contained a valid PIP deductible. The Court found the defendant was not required comply with 10 Del. C. §2118(a)(2)(f), in demonstrating the existence of a valid PIP deductible. The Court extended Berg v. American Casualty Co., 597 A.2d 4 (Del. 1991), which dealt with UM/UIM benefits, to include policies issued for PIP benefits. In Berg, the court found no duty on the insurer to offer UM/UIM coverage in an amount equal to the insured’s liability coverage, where the insured applied under the Assigned Risk Plan. Specifically, the court distinguished the circumstance presented when a policy is issued pursuant to an Assigned Risk Plan because there is no contact between the insurer and the insured, prior to the issuance of the insurance policy. This is unlike the traditional circumstances under which insurance policies are issued, involving direct contact between an insurer and insured. In this case, the Court found persuasive the reasoning in Berg, emphasizing the very different insured-insurer relationship presented in the context of an Assigned Risk Plan.