Three Auto Insurance Bills Get to Colo. House Floor

Three bills designed to help clarify and simplify the auto insurance process in Colorado, including one that would reduce the number of required options in the no-fault law, have passed the House.

National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) Northwest Regional Manager Michael Harrold said NAII supported all three bills because they helped consumers by facilitating the insuring process. The three bills that were sent to the Senate late last week are:

* House Bill 1047, eliminating the requirement that several specific personal injury protection (PIP) options be offered in the state’s no-fault auto insurance law.

*HB 1121, clarifying that written disclosures do not need to be given prior to binding an insurance policy.

* HB 1050, clarifying that cost savings due to professional provider organization (PPO) options for medical treatment under an auto insurance policy can be given to policyholders either as a dollar amount or percentage of premium.

In a move opposed by NAII, the Senate Business Committee approved Senate Bill 91 that would mandate that PIP provisions include a living expense benefit for persons receiving rehabilitative occupational training programs under a no-fault policy. NAII testified that the bill would raise auto insurance premiums by at least another $20 a year.

The same committee discussed SB 90 that would eliminate the PPO option but deferred action pending anticipated amendments. Insurers said the bill as initially drafted would raise premiums substantially.

The House Finance Committee sent to the House floor HB 1135, which would convert Colorado’s state workers’ compensation fund, Pinnacol, to a modified mutual insurer. The bill would exempt Pinnacol from surplus requirements and from premium taxes. Harrold said NAII would oppose those provisions and seek to get the bill amended to require Pinnacol to operate more like private insurers must do.