OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 894 (File 43, as amended by Senate “A”)*

AN ACT REQUIRING DISCLOSURE OF AUTOMOBILE LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY LIMITS PRIOR TO THE FILING OF A CLAIM.

SUMMARY:

This bill requires an automobile liability insurer to disclose the limits applicable under a policy it issued within 30 days after receiving a written request for disclosure. The request must be made by, or on behalf of, a person alleging bodily injury or death resulting from a motor vehicle collision involving a person the insurer's private passenger automobile policy covers. The disclosure must be in writing and indicate all coverage the insurer provides to the insured, including any applicable umbrella or excess liability insurance.

The bill requires that a letter from an attorney licensed to practice in Connecticut or an affidavit from the person alleging to have suffered injury as a result of the accident accompany a written request for the policy limits and include certain information. The written request for disclosure must be sent by certified mail directed to the insurance adjuster or to the insurance company at its last known principal place of business.

*Senate Amendment “A” (1) gives insurers 30 instead of 14 days to respond to a request for policy limits; (2) requires the request for disclosure to be sent by certified mail to the adjuster or company; (3) requires the request to include a copy of medical bills and treatment records and, if available, the accident report; (4) allows the request to be accompanied by either an attorney's letter or the injured party's affidavit, rather than only the former; and (5) makes the bill effective for claims arising on or after October 1, 2009, rather than filed on or after that date. It also deletes provisions (1) making the contents or a letter or affidavit inadmissible in a civil action, (2) requiring the bill's provisions to apply only with respect to policies that insure against loss or damage on account of bodily injury or death, and (3) requiring the insurer's disclosure to include copies of the policy declaration pages or similar material identifying coverage.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2009, and applicable to claims arising on or after that date.

ATTORNEY LETTER

The attorney's letter or the allegedly injured person's affidavit must include:

1. his or her juris number (if an attorney),

2. the type of claim alleged against the insured,

3. the date and approximate time the alleged incident occurred,

4. a description of the injuries the insured is alleged to have caused;

5. a copy of the individual's medical bills and medical records from treatment of the injuries; and

6. a copy of the accident report of the collision that allegedly caused the person's injury or death, if available.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

13

Nay

6

(02/19/2009)

Judiciary Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

31

Nay

10

(04/21/2009)