BARNES, P. J., MCMILLIAN and REESE, JJ.
Barnes, Presiding Judge.
and Kevin Jones appeal the summary judgment entered against
them and in favor of Federated Mutual Insurance Company. They
contest the trial court's ruling that they were validly
excluded from uninsured motorist coverage provided by a
policy issued by that company. For reasons that follow, we
judgment is proper "if the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together
with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine
issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is
entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." OCGA §
9-11-56 (c). "In our de novo review of the grant of a
motion for summary judgment, we must view the evidence, and
all reasonable inferences drawn therefrom, in the light most
favorable to the nonmovant." (Citation and punctuation
omitted.) Cowart v. Widener, 287 Ga. 622, 624 (1)
(a) (697 S.E.2d 779) (2010).
viewed, the record shows the following. On April 3, 2015, the
Joneses were test-driving a car owned by Five Star Automotive
Group, when that car was rear-ended by a vehicle being driven
by Rashod Lamar. Neither of the Joneses had a personal
automobile insurance policy. Seeking to recover damages for
alleged injuries from the car wreck, the Joneses filed the
instant action. They named Lamar as a defendant, and they
served a copy of the action upon Federated Mutual, with which
Five Star had an insurance policy ("Policy") at the
time of the collision. The Joneses accepted the liability limits
from Lamar's insurer and executed a limited liability
release pursuant to OCGA § 33-24-41.1,  thereby
exhausting all liability coverage. Maintaining, however, that
their medical bills stemming from the car wreck exceeded the
amounts received from Lamar's insurer, the Joneses sought
uninsured motorist coverage under the Policy pursuant to OCGA
§ 33-7-11, the Georgia Uninsured Motorist Act ("UM
Mutual moved for summary judgment, asserting that the Policy
afforded the Joneses no uninsured motorist coverage. In
support of its motion, Federal Mutual presented evidence that
when Five Star procured the Policy and thus decided the scope
of coverage it would obtain, Five Star's authorized
representative executed a "Georgia Commercial Automobile
Uninsured Motorists Coverage Option Form" (the
"Uninsured Motorist Provision") selecting thereon a
$1, 000, 000 uninsured motorist coverage limit for
"directors, officers, partners or owners of the named
insured and family members who qualify as an insured."
On that same form, as Federated Mutual further pointed out,
Five Star's authorized representative expressly
rejected uninsured motorist coverage for "any
other person who qualifies as an insured." At the time
of the collision, as the Joneses stipulated, neither of them
was a director, officer, owner, or partner of Five Star, nor
was either a family member of any Five Star director,
officer, owner, or partner.
the Joneses opposed Federated Mutual's motion on grounds
that the Uninsured Motorist Provision - which resulted in
"tiered" uninsured motorist coverage (for different
groups of individuals) - was void as contravening both the
plain language of the UM Statute and Georgia's public
policy. Therefore, the Joneses urged that the $1, 000, 000
option applied to them each as an "insured" in
accordance with the UM Statute.
hearing, the trial court ruled in favor of Federated Mutual.
It ascertained that the plain terms of the Uninsured Motorist
Provision revealed the contracting parties' intent to
exclude uninsured motorist coverage for persons such as the
Joneses. And in rejecting the Joneses' arguments that the
Uninsured Motorist Provision was void, the trial court relied
on Crouch v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., 257 Ga.App.
604 (571 S.E.2d 574) (2002), which upheld tiered uninsured
motorist coverage (for different groups of individuals) as
contravening neither law nor public policy. Id. at
606 (a). The trial court granted Federated Mutual's
summary judgment motion, and the Joneses appeal.
first review the applicable statutory and contractual
framework. "In Georgia, an insurer may fix the terms of
its policy as it wishes, insuring against certain risks and
excluding others, provided the terms are not contrary to
law." Hurst v. Grange Mut. Cas. Co.,
266 Ga. 712, 716 (4) (470 S.E.2d 659) (1996).
When an uninsured motorist policy provision is in conflict
with the clear intent of OCGA § 33-7-11, the policy
provision is unenforceable and the statute controls.
Exclusions in uninsured motorist endorsements cannot
circumvent the clear mandate of the [UM Statute] by
withholding the protection required.
(Citations and punctuation omitted.) Dees v. Logan,
282 Ga. 815, 816 (653 S.E.2d 735) (2007); see Hartford
Accident & Indem. Co. v. Booker, 140 Ga.App. 3, 4
(1) (230 S.E.2d 70) (1976).
relevant part, the UM Statute states in paragraph (a) (1),
"No automobile liability policy or motor vehicle
liability policy shall be issued or delivered in this state .
. . unless it contains an endorsement or provisions
undertaking to pay the insured damages for bodily injury . .
. sustained from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor
vehicle. . . ." But paragraph (a) (3) of the UM Statute
states, "The coverage required under paragraph (1) of
this subsection shall not be applicable where any insured
named in the policy shall reject the coverage in
writing." Together, these paragraphs provide that
uninsured motorist "coverage must appear in every
[automobile liability] policy unless rejected in writing by
the insured named in the policy." Doe v.
Rampley, 256 Ga. 575, 577 (1) (351 S.E.2d 205) (1987);
see also Jones v. Ga. Farm Bureau Mutual Ins. Co.,
248 Ga.App. 394, 396 (546 S.E.2d 791) (2001) ("Although
an insurer is required to offer [uninsured motorist] coverage
initially, a insured is not required by the statute to carry
[uninsured motorist] coverage.").
turn to the Policy because "[courts] must employ the
standard rules of contract construction to determine the
meaning of the provisions of an insurance policy."
Owners Ins. Co. v. Smith Mechanical Contractors, 285
Ga. 807, 808 (2) (683 S.E.2d 599) (2009). In this case, the
named insured was Five Star. Where, as here, "the terms
and conditions of an insurance contract are clear and
unambiguous, they must be given their literal meaning."
Adams v. Atlanta Cas. Co., 235 Ga.App. 288, 289 (1)
(509 S.E.2d 66) (1998); see Smith v. Stoddard, 294
Ga.App. 679, 682 (1) (b) (669 S.E.2d 712) (2008) ("Under
Georgia law, contracts of insurance are interpreted by
ordinary rules of contract construction. Where the terms are
clear and unambiguous, and capable of only one reasonable
interpretation, the court is to look to the contract alone to
ascertain the parties' intent.") (citation and
punctuation omitted). Accordingly, the trial court correctly
ascertained that the plain terms of the Uninsured Motorist
Provision revealed that the contracting parties intended to
exclude uninsured motorist coverage for persons such as the
Joneses. See Crouch, 257 Ga.App. at 607-608 (c)
(rejecting injured motorist's claim of entitlement to
pursue maximum amount of uninsured motorist coverage provided
by a tiered policy, where the language of the policy plainly
excluded the motorist from that option). Even the Joneses
acknowledge in their appellate brief that, in executing the
Uninsured Motorist Provision, "Five Star chose to
provide significant protection to its own owners and
directors [and other designated individuals, ] while totally
excluding all others who would obviously be using the
an effort to escape the summary judgment ruling and to
establish that the $1, 000, 000 option of uninsured motorist
coverage applies to them, the Joneses reassert on appeal that
the Uninsured Motorist Provision is void as contravening: (a)
the UM Statute; and (b) Georgia's public policy. See
generally Merrill v. Lee, 301 Ga. 34, 36 (2) (799
S.E.2d 169) (2017) ("Parties may establish contract
terms on any subject matter in which they have an ...