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Introduced Version House Concurrent Resolution 132 History

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HOUSE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 132

(By Delegates Guthrie, Barrett, Hartman, Manchin, Morgan,

          Perry, R. Phillips, Reynolds and Walters)

 

 

Requesting the Joint Committee on Government and Finance study whether insurers licensed to sell motor vehicle insurance in West Virginia should be prohibited from raising premiums after an insured person’s filing of a claim for an accident for which no insured person was at fault.

    Whereas, The State of West Virginia requires owners and operators of motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers to maintain proof of ability to pay damages for liability arising out of the ownership, operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, trailer or semitrailer on West Virginia’s roads and highways; and

    Whereas, The State of West Virginia requires owners and operators of motor vehicles, trailers and semitrailers to maintain insurance coverage for injuries or damaged caused by uninsured motorists; and

    Whereas, The State of West Virginia requires insurers licensed to sell motor vehicle insurance in West Virginia to offer to sell underinsured motorists coverage to persons who apply to purchase liability and uninsured motorists coverage; and

    Whereas, West Virginia owners and operators of motor vehicles, trailers and semitrailers ordinarily meet statutory requirements by purchasing liability insurance and uninsured motorists coverage, and commonly purchase other types of motor vehicle insurance, including, but not limited to, under insured motorists coverage and other coverages applicable to motor vehicle accidents in which the insured person is not at fault; and

    Whereas, It appears that some insurers believe that an insured person’s not-at-fault motor vehicle accident, and/or filing of a claim for a not-at-fault accident, increases the likelihood that the insured person will file future claims under the insurer’s policy; and

    Whereas, It appears that some insurers raise future premiums for a policy covering a person involved in or filing a claim for a not-at-fault accident, although it appears that other insurers do not raise future premiums for either reason; and

    Whereas, It appears that some persons involved in not-at-fault accidents, who have paid for insurance coverage applicable to not-at-fault accidents, do not file not-at-fault accident claims because they fear that the motor vehicle insurer will increase future premiums because of the not-at-fault accident; and

    Whereas, Some other states, including the neighboring State of Ohio, have enacted legislation to prohibit motor vehicle insurers from raising policy premiums because of an insured person’s not-at-fault accident claim; and

    Whereas, It appears that some, but not all, motor vehicle insurers in states that prohibit premium increases based on not-at-fault accidents have raised their premiums generally, to account for risk perceived to be presented by a not-at-fault accident; and

    Whereas, Of motor vehicle insurers now licensed to sell insurance in West Virginia, it does not appear that many, if any, would withdraw from this state if prohibited from increasing premiums based on an insured person’s not-at-fault accident or not-at-fault accident claim; and

    Whereas, Motor vehicle insurance is more expensive in West Virginia than in neighboring states, due in part to topography, a large deer population, and other factors beyond the control of insureds; therefore, be it

    Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance is requested to study whether insurers licensed to sell motor vehicle insurance in West Virginia should be prohibited from raising premiums after an insured person’s filing of a claim for an accident for which no insured person was at fault; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the study take into account insurers’ assertions of an increased risk due to not-at-fault accidents and the concerns of persons who have paid for otherwise applicable insurance but feel constrained to seek benefits for fear of increased future premiums; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the Joint Committee on Government and Finance report to the Legislature, on the first day of the regular session, 2014, on its findings, conclusions and recommendations together with drafts of any legislation to effectuate its recommendations; and, be it

    Further Resolved, That the expenses necessary to conduct this study, to prepare a report and to draft necessary legislation be paid from legislative appropriations to the Joint Committee on Government and Finance.

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