New Laws Coming Down the Pike
July 7, 2021
Senate Bill 1241, “Personal Injury Claim: Disclosure of Insurance Policy Limits,” was signed by the Governor and went into effect July 1, 2021. The new law changes the insurance policy limit disclosure requirement. Previously, the requirement applied to an alleged tortfeasor who was convicted of the offense of driving under the influence. Now, the requirement applies to an alleged tortfeasor who has merely been charged with the offense of driving under the influence. Disclosure is due within 30 days of the request for such disclosure. Further, the bill adds the offense of refusal to submit to a breath or blood test to the list of driving under the influence offenses for which insurance policy limits disclosure will now be required.
The Governor also signed into law Senate Bill 1182, “Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance: Increasing Coverage Amounts.” The Bill increased minimum limits from $25,000 to $30,000 in cases of bodily injury or death of one person, and from $50,000 to $60,000 in cases of bodily injury or death of two or more persons from any one accident. This will take effect between January 1, 2022 and January 1, 2025. Further, for policies effective after January 1, 2025, the insurance limits will increase to $50,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of one person and $100,000 in cases of bodily injury to or death of two or more persons.
Senate Bill 1202, “Uninsured and Underinsured Motorists’ Insurance Policy; Bad Faith” was not passed and will not be signed into law. This bill provided that if an insurance company denies, refuses, or fails to pay its insured or refuses a reasonable settlement demand within the policy’s coverage limits within a reasonable time after being presented with a demand, should a denial or refusal to pay occur, and if proven, the insurance company would be liable to the insured for the full amount of the judgment along with reasonable attorney’s fees, expenses, and interest.