OLR Bill Analysis

HB 5963 (as amended by House "A")*

AN ACT CONCERNING TREATMENT OR CARE PROVIDED BY RELIGIOUS NONMEDICAL PROVIDERS UNDER HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES OR HEALTH BENEFIT PLANS.

SUMMARY

This bill increases the financial security (e.g., insurance) a person must maintain to receive or retain a driver's license or motor vehicle registration. State law requires a driver to maintain a minimum amount of auto insurance, including liability and uninsured and underinsured motorist (UI/UM) coverage. Liability coverage covers bodily injury to other people and property damage.

Current law requires minimum liability coverage of $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident for bodily injury and $10,000 per accident for property damage. The bill increases these minimums to $25,000, $50,000, and $25,000, respectively. In doing so, it also increases the minimum amount of UI/UM coverage required from $20,000 per person and $40,000 per accident to $25,000 and $50,000, respectively. UI/UM coverage covers bodily injury to the vehicle owner, relatives living with the owner, and passengers injured in an accident caused by (1) an uninsured driver, (2) a driver whose bodily injury liability coverage limits are insufficient, or (3) a hit-and-run driver.

*House Amendment “A” replaces the underlying bill, which allowed health carriers to include religious nonmedical providers in their provider networks.

EFFECTIVE DATE: January 1, 2018 and applicable to policies delivered, issued, renewed, amended, or endorsed in Connecticut on and after that date.

BACKGROUND

Penalties for Driving without Insurance

By law, a person is subject to penalties for (1) operating a vehicle without insurance (CGS 14-213b), (2) failing to maintain insurance (CGS 38a-371), and (3) failing to carry proof of insurance (CGS 14-13). In addition, the person's vehicle registration and driver's license may be suspended for failing to maintain insurance and an uninsured vehicle may be impounded if it has a suspended registration (CGS 14-12g and 14-12h).

A person who operates a vehicle without the required insurance is subject to a fine between $100 and $1,000. However, an owner of a vehicle with a commercial registration who knowingly operates or permits the operation of the vehicle without the required insurance commits a class D felony (which carries a fine of up to $5,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both). Failing to maintain insurance as required by law is a class C misdemeanor (which carries a fine of up to $500, imprisonment for up to three months, or both). Failing to carry proof of insurance in a vehicle is an infraction subject to a $50 fine.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

20

Nay

0

(03/07/2017)