Sixty-eight insurance bills were introduced in the 2013 session of Maryland’s General Assembly. Eighteen of the bills dealt with motor vehicle insurance issues, only a few survived the legislative gauntlet to become law. These are the motor vehicle bills that passed this years’ session:
Senate Bill 736/House Bill 763 forbids a person from directly or indirectly compensating, or offering or promising to compensate, an insured for all or part of an insurance deductible under a policy as an inducement to contract to furnish goods and services. Violation of the bill would be a fraudulent insurance act, subject to criminal penalties. While there is no current state law prohibiting a person from offering to pay a deductible as inducement to contract for goods or services, according to the fiscal note filed with the bill, there are laws against a specified insurer or insurance producer offering premium rebates. Paying, or offering to pay, an insured’s deductible is insurance fraud in several states. The bill goes into effect on Oct. 1.
Senate Bill 446/House Bill 342 forbids an insurer, from denying, refusing to renew or canceling coverage with respect to homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance solely because the applicant or policyholder does not carry private passenger motor vehicle insurance with specified insurers. It also prohibits an insurer, with respect to private passenger motor vehicle insurance, from taking specified actions solely because the applicant or policyholder does not carry homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance with specified insurers. The bill becomes effective on Oct. 1.
House Bill 392 forbids an insurer that issues a motor vehicle liability insurance policy that contains personal injury protection coverage (PIP) from increasing the premium on the policy due to a claim or payment made under that coverage. It defines “increase the premium” to include an increase in total premium for a policy due to a surcharge, retiering or other reclassification of the policy or removal or reduction of a discount, altering a specified notice requirement, etc. It’s already been signed by Gov. Martin O’Malley. The bill becomes effective Oct. 1.
Bills that would have expanded police authority to ask for a blood or breath test after an accident or that would allow a motor vehicle insurer to offset benefit payments under personal injury protection (PIP) coverage against payments paid under uninsured or underinsured coverage if damages stemmed from the same accident or occurrence did not survive this year’s session.
Baltimore, Maryland-based Belsky, Weinberg & Horowitz has been fighting for clients who have been the victims of personal injury and negligence for many years. Call us at 410-234-0100 or email us for a free consultation and let us help you.