H. B. 4486
(By Delegates Miley, Hatfield, Ellem, Poore,
Reynolds, Hunt, Walters and Manchin)
[Passed March 10, 2012; in effect ninety days from passage.]
AN ACT to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new section, designated §33-6F-2, relating to the disclosure of certain information regarding liability insurance coverage.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended
by adding thereto a new section, designated §33-6F-2, to read as follows:
ARTICLE 6F. DISCLOSURE OF NONPUBLIC PERSONAL INFORMATION.
§33-6F-2. Disclosure of certain insurance information required.
Notwithstanding the provisions of section one, article six-f, of this chapter:
(a) Each insurer that may provide personal lines liability insurance coverage as that term is defined in section nine, article twelve of this chapter to pay all or a portion of a claim asserted against an insurance policy insuring a motor vehicle shall provide, within thirty days of its receipt of a written request from a claimant’s attorney who has given written notice that he or she represents the claimant: (1) A response providing the following information relating to each of the insurer’s known policies of insurance, including excess or umbrella insurance, which does or may provide liability coverage for the claim:
(A) The name of the insurer;
(B) The name of each named insured of the subject policy; and
(C) The limits of any motor vehicle liability insurance policy at the time of the events that are the subject of the claim; or
(2) The declarations page of any motor vehicle liability policy applicable at the time of the events that are the subject of the claim, appropriately redacted to comply with applicable privacy laws or regulations;
(b) Any written request by the claimant’s attorney under this section must include: (1) The date and location of the events that are the subject of the claim; (2) the name and, if known, the last known address of the insured; (3) a copy of the accident or incident report, if any; (4) the insurer’s claim number;(5) a good faith estimate and documentation of all of the claimant’s medical expenses if any and any wage loss documentation as of the date of the request, if any; and (6)documentation as of the date of the request of any and all property damage.
(c) Disclosure of the information required by subsection (a) of this section shall not constitute an admission that the alleged injury or damage is subject to the policy, nor shall such disclosure waive any reservation of rights an insurer may have.
(d) No information disclosed by any party pursuant to this section shall be, by reason of such disclosure, admissible as evidence at trial.
(e) An insurer’s compliance with this section does not constitute a violation of this article, or subsection twelve, section eleven, article six of this chapter.
(f) An insurer that fails to comply with this section is subject to a penalty of five hundred dollars, plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and expenses incurred in obtaining disclosure of the information required by subsection (a) of this section. This penalty is the sole and exclusive remedy for an insurer’s failure to comply with this section.