Legislation May Seek to Remedy Court Ruling on Personal Umbrella Policies

January 17, 2002

State legislators are expected to be asked to remedy an Alaska Supreme Court ruling that held personal umbrella policies are auto liability policies and therefore must offer uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.

The ruling in Holderness v. State Farm also held that such policies are subject to attorney fees and prejudgment interest. As a result of the ruling, some insurers have ceased offering personal umbrella policies in Alaska.

National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) Northwest Regional Manager Michael Harrold said NAII would support such a bill in the legislative session that began Jan. 14.

Other subjects that Harrold expects to arise during the session include:

Self Evaluative Privilege – Senate Bill 229, a carryover from the 2001 session, would protect the confidentiality of a self-audit performed by an insurance company to ensure it is complying with state laws and regulations.

Insurance Guaranty Fund – SB 228, also a carryover from 2001, addresses the liquidation of an insurer.

Omnibus Bill – House Bill 246, the Insurance Division’s omnibus bill, became stalled last year, and the division will attempt to move it again. Among other provisions, the bill addresses the confidentiality of records and cease and desist orders of the division.

Credit Scoring Confidentiality – Insurers will seek a strong confidentiality provision that will enable them to comfortably share proprietary credit scoring models with the Insurance Division.

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