The Idaho House passed legislation (HB 429) this month that requires that auto insurance policies provide underinsured motorist coverage unless the policyholder signs a form specifically rejecting the coverage.
HB 429, sponsored Rep. Russ Mathews, R-Idaho Falls, would mandate insurers provide underinsured motorists coverage matching the state’s minimum limits for all policyholders who purchase auto liability, unless the policyholder rejects or modifies the coverage.
The policyholder would still have the ability to reject either or both coverages. The consumer would have the opportunity to reject these coverages prior to the initial policy being issued or at the time of the first renewal or replacement of a policy for an existing policyholder. A standard statement explaining uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, and forms for rejecting either or both would be developed by the Department of Insurance.
“Uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance are policy coverage options consumers should carefully consider,” said Kenton Brine, Northwest regional manager for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.
“The financial consequences of not having uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can be severe for motorists involved in accidents with an uninsured driver — or with a driver who has liability insurance policy limits which are insufficient to pay for the full cost of injuries or damage. Under this bill consumers can weigh their options, make an informed choice, then sign the rejection form to acknowledge that they are choosing not to buy the coverage, keep the coverage as-is, or increase the coverage to meet their needs.”
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