Senate Bill No. 385
(By Senator Chafin and Kessler)
[Introduced February 3, 2000; referred to the Committee
on Banking and Insurance.]
A BILL to amend and reenact sections two and twelve, article
four, chapter seventeen-d of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating
to proof of financial responsibility; and increasing the
minimum amounts of insurance required.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections two and twelve, article four, chapter
seventeen-d of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine
hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 4. PROOF OF FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FUTURE.
§17D-4-2. "Proof of financial responsibility" construed.
The term "proof of financial responsibility" as used in this
shall mean means: Proof of ability to respond in damages
for liability, on account of accident occurring subsequent to the
effective date of said proof, arising out of the ownership,
operation, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle, trailer or
semitrailer in the amount of twenty forty thousand dollars
because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any one
accident, and, subject to said limit for one person, in the
amount of forty eighty thousand dollars because of bodily injury
to or death of two or more persons in any one accident, and in
the amount of ten twenty thousand dollars because of injury to or
destruction of property of others in any one accident.
§17D-4-12. "Motor vehicle liability policy" defined; scope and
provisions of policy.
(a) A "motor vehicle liability policy" as
said that term is
used in this chapter means an "owner's policy" or an "operator's
policy" of liability insurance certified as provided in section
ten or section eleven of this article as proof of financial
responsibility, and issued, except as otherwise provided in
section eleven, by an insurance carrier duly authorized to
transact business in this state, to or for the benefit of the person named therein as insured.
Such The owner's policy of liability insurance:
(1) Shall designate by explicit description or by appropriate
reference all vehicles with respect to which coverage is thereby
to be granted; and
(2) Shall insure the person named therein and any other
person, as insured, using any such vehicle or vehicles with the
express or implied permission of such named insured, against loss
from the liability imposed by law for damages arising out of the
ownership, operation, maintenance or use of
such the vehicle or
vehicles within the United States of America or the Dominion of
Canada, subject to limits exclusive of interest and costs, with
respect to each such vehicle, as follows: Twenty Forty thousand
dollars because of bodily injury to or death of one person in any
one accident and, subject to said the limit for one person, forty
eighty thousand dollars because of bodily injury to or death of
two or more persons in any one accident, and ten twenty thousand
dollars because of injury to or destruction of property of others
in any one accident.
Such The operator's policy of liability insurance shall
insure the person named as insured therein against loss from the liability imposed upon him or her by law for damages arising out
of the use by him or her of any motor vehicle not owned by him or
her, within the same territorial limits and subject to the same
limits of liability as are set forth above with respect to an
owner's policy of liability insurance.
Such The motor vehicle liability policy shall state the
name and address of the named insured, the coverage afforded by
the policy, the premium charged therefor, the policy period, and
the limits of liability, and shall contain an agreement or be
endorsed that insurance is provided thereunder in accordance with
the coverage defined in this chapter as respects bodily injury
and death or property damage, or both, and is subject to all the
provisions of this chapter.
Such The motor vehicle liability policy need not insure
any liability under any workers' compensation law nor any
liability on account of bodily injury to or death of an employee
of the insured while engaged in the employment, other than
domestic, of the insured or while engaged in the operation,
maintenance or repair of any such vehicle nor any liability for
damage to property owned by, rented to, in charge of or
transported by the insured.
(f) Every motor vehicle liability policy
shall be is subject
to the following provisions which need not be contained therein:
(1) The liability of the insurance carrier with respect to
the insurance required by this chapter
shall become is absolute
whenever injury or damage covered by said the motor vehicle
liability policy occurs; said the policy may not be canceled or
annulled as to such the liability by an agreement between the
insurance carrier and the insured after the occurrence of the
injury or damage; no statement made by the insured or on his or
her behalf and no violation of said policy shall may defeat or
void said the policy.
(2) The satisfaction by the insured of a judgment for
the injury or damage shall may not be a condition precedent to
the right or duty of the insurance carrier to make payment on
account of such the injury or damage.
(3) The insurance carrier
shall have has the right to settle
any claim covered by the policy, and if such the settlement is
made in good faith, the amount thereof shall be deductible from
the limits of liability specified in subdivision (2), subsection
(b) of this section.
(4) The policy, the written application therefor, if any, and any rider or endorsement which does not conflict with the
provisions of this chapter
shall constitute the entire contract
(g) Any policy which grants the coverage required for a motor
vehicle liability policy may also grant any lawful coverage in
excess of or in addition to the coverage specified for a motor
vehicle liability policy and
such the excess or additional
coverage shall not be is not subject to the provisions of this
chapter. With respect to a policy which grants such excess or
additional coverage, the term "motor vehicle liability policy"
applies only to that part of the coverage which is required by
(h) Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide that the
shall must reimburse the insurance carrier for any
payment the insurance carrier would not have been be obligated to
make under the terms of the policy except for the provisions of
(i) Any motor vehicle liability policy may provide for the
prorating of the insurance thereunder with other valid and
(j) The requirements for a motor vehicle liability policy may be fulfilled by the policies of one or more insurance carriers
which policies together meet
such the requirements.
(k) Any binder issued pending the issuance of a motor vehicle
shall be deemed is considered to fulfill the requirements
for such a policy.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to increase the minimum
insurance requirement of motor vehicle operators. It doubles
the minimum requirements now in effect.
Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from
the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that
would be added.