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KASSIANI SEREFEAS v. NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY (01/30/85)

filed: January 30, 1985.

KASSIANI SEREFEAS
v.
NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COMPANY, APPELLANT



No. 700 Philadelphia, 1983, Appeal from the Judgment Entered on February 9, 1983 in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County, No. 166I October Term, 1980

COUNSEL

James M. Marsh, Philadelphia, for appellant.

George Wm. Georges, Philadelphia, for appellee.

Cirillo, Montemuro and Cercone, JJ.

Author: Cercone

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 588]

This is an appeal by Nationwide Insurance Company from a judgment entered in the trial court in favor of Kassiani Serefeas in the amount of $14,309.40, plus interest, in her claim for benefits under the Pennsylvania No-Fault Motor Vehicle Insurance Act (Act).*fn1 Nationwide denied her claim on the basis of an exclusion clause in her policy which limited coverage to accidents occurring only in the United States, its territories or possessions, and Canada. The trial court found this clause to be violative of the language and intent of the No-fault Act. We affirm.

Plaintiff-appellee Serefeas (appellee) is a citizen of the United States and a Pennsylvania resident. While riding as a passenger with her brother, a resident of Greece, through Yugoslavia on November 10, 1978, his uninsured vehicle struck another in the rear. As a result of this motor vehicle accident, appellee sustained various bodily injuries. She was hospitalized in Yugoslavia, Greece, and Pennsylvania for her injuries.

Appellee was insured under a policy issued to her husband which provided basic personal injury protection (no-fault benefits) to appellee as spouse of an insured residing in his household. Nationwide refused payment of appellee's no-fault benefits on the basis of the territorial exclusion clause of the policy:

[ 338 Pa. Super. Page 589]

All coverages apply in Canada, the United States of America and its territories and possessions, or between their ports. All coverages except Uninsured Motorist coverage apply to occurrences in Mexico if within 50 miles of the United States boundary.

This policy exclusion is authorized by various regulations promulgated by the Insurance Commissioner, which address the relevant issue of "basic loss benefits," and provide:

Basic loss benefits shall apply to accidents which occur within the United States of America, its territories or possessions or Canada. 31 Pa.Code ยง 66.1-201.

This endorsement is designed to modify a private passenger automobile liability policy so that it will meet the minimum requirements for provisions of basic loss benefits coverage . . . This coverage applies only to accidents which occur during the policy period and within the United States ...


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