Colo. Senate Passes Bill to Include Living Expenses

The state Senate has passed a bill requiring “living expenses” to be paid in rehabilitation claims under personal injury protection (PIP) provisions in the state’s no-fault auto insurance law.

“The additional costs created by Senate Bill 91 would raise auto insurance prices for all Colorado drivers,” said Michael Harrold, National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) northwest regional manager. “For that reason, we urge the House to reject the measure.” The Senate passed the bill Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Harrold said NAII likewise opposed SB 90, which extends the wage loss benefit to five years and imposes a burdensome appeals process in the managed care option for medical treatment under the no-fault law. The Senate Business, Labor and Finance Committee reported the bill out favorably Feb. 13 after amending it to delete a provision that would have eliminated the managed care (professional provider organization, or PPO) option entirely. Again, he said, the bill would raise auto insurance costs for everyone.

In other action, the House has passed HB 1135, converting Pinnacol, the state’s workers’ compensation fund, without changes pushed by NAII that would have required Pinnacol to operate more like a private insurer. Harrold said NAII would seek to get those changes adopted in the Senate.

The House also killed HB 1148 and HB 1150, dealing with construction defects. Harrold said a replacement bill is being drafted but the text is not available yet.