PA 17-114—HB 5963

Insurance and Real Estate Committee

AN ACT INCREASING THE MINIMUM AMOUNT OF INSURANCE COVERAGE REQUIRED TO ISSUE A MOTOR VEHICLE OPERATOR'S LICENSE OR CERTIFICATE OF MOTOR VEHICLE REGISTRATION

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

Prior law required 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 act 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.

The act also makes technical changes.

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 Required Insurance

By law, a person who operates a vehicle without the required insurance is subject to a fine of between $100 and $1,000 (CGS 14-213b). 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 (see Table on Penalties).

Failing to maintain insurance as required by law is a class C misdemeanor (CGS 38a-371). Failing to carry proof of insurance in a vehicle is an infraction, subject to a $50 fine (CGS 14-13).

In addition, a 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).