In its final week of the session, which concluded last Friday, the Missouri General Assembly passed several insurance-related bills, including bills that allow consumers to use electronic devices to show evidence of insurance as well as permitting property/casualty insurers to post a consumer’s policy online and send a link via e-mail to the policyholder in lieu of providing a hard copy.
The Assembly also passed SB 1, which limits the types of claims that can be run through the Second Injury Fund and the amount that can be recovered, and HB 339 (“No Pay, No Play” legislation), which prohibits recovery of non-economic damages by those who have been injured in an automobile accident but whom themselves do not have auto insurance, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
One bill that did not advance was HB 90, which addressed a procedure used in virtually every other state called reservation of rights. In Missouri, it is difficult to use a reservation of rights and still provide a defense to the insured without the fear of a bad faith type of allegation. The bill would have allowed insurers to reserve its rights, until it determines if there is coverage or not, as is permissible in the rest of the country.
PCI applauded the passing of SB 322, SB 1 and HB 339. “Missouri would be among the first states in the nation to enable consumers to take the next steps in going paperless by allowing them to opt to access their policies online and use electronic devices to display insurance identification card information if Governor Nixon signs SB 322,” said Ann Weber, VP state government relations for PCI. “Increasingly consumers want to conduct business electronically and this legislation is just another way to use technology to make everyday life a little easier. The ability to access your policy online will prove particularly beneficial for consumers following a catastrophic event if the paper copy is not easily accessible.”
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