Bill Summary for H 402 (2023-2024)
|View NCGA Bill Details||2023-2024 Session|
AN ACT MAKING VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE AND SERVICE OF PROCESS LAWS OF NORTH CAROLINA.Intro. by Stevens, Humphrey, Gillespie.
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Amends the term proof of financial responsibility in GS 20-279.1 (the definitions section of the Motor Vehicle Safety and Responsibility Act of 1953) to raise the motor vehicle insurance coverage amounts for bodily injury or death as follows:
·for bodily injury or death to one person because of an accident from $30,000 to $50,000;
·for bodily injury to two or more persons because of an accident from $60,000 to $100,000;
·for injury or destruction of property because of an accident from $25,000 to $50,000.
Makes conforming changes to GS 20-279.5 (pertaining to security required unless there is evidence of insurance) GS 20-279.15 (payment sufficient to satisfy requirements for certain judgments related to motor vehicle accidents); GS 20-279.21(b)(2) (definition of motor vehicle liability policy); GS 20-281 (pertaining to liability insurance prerequisite to engaging in business, and coverage of policy); and GS 58-37-35 (pertaining to the functions and administration of the North Carolina Motor Vehicle Reinsurance Facility) to refer to new amounts set forth above.
Amends GS 20-279.21 to specify the manner of service that litigants in civil lawsuits involving an insured against an uninsured motorist should use to effect service of the required documents to an insurer as an unnamed party (registered or certified mail, return receipt requested or in any manner provided by law). Specifies that service outside the statute of limitations is valid so long as the summons has been properly issued, preserved, and served pursuant to North Carolina Rule of Civil Procedure 4. Amends the definition in GS 20-279.21 of uninsured motor vehicle to change the benchmark which determines when a vehicle is considered an underinsured vehicle to when the sum of the limits of liability under all bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies of the vehicle (including an underinsured highway vehicle) applicable at the time of the accident is less than the total damages sustained by an individual seeking payment of benefits under this subdivision. (Currently, the sum of the limits of liability under all bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies of the vehicle applicable at the time of the accident must be less than the applicable limits of underinsured motorist coverage for the vehicle involved in the accident and insured under the owner's policy.) Changes the benchmarks determining when a vehicle is considered underinsured for underinsured motorist claims asserted by a person in an accident where more than one person is injured to when all bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies applicable to the vehicle at the time of the accident are exhausted and the total amount paid to a person asserting an underinsured motorist claim from the exhaustion of those bonds and policies is less than the total damages sustained by the person seeking payment of benefits under an uninsured motorist policy. (Currently, vehicle is considered underinsured in these circumstances if the total amount actually paid to that person under all bodily injury liability bonds and insurance policies applicable at the time of the accident is less than the applicable limits of underinsured motorist coverage for the vehicle involved in the accident and insured under the owner's policy.) Amends the circumstances under which exhaustion of liability coverage for the purpose of a single claim presented for uninsured motors coverage occurs to when certain limits have been paid or tendered (i.e., when an unconditional offer of money to satisfy a debt or obligation has been made) (currently, only occurs for liability claims that been paid). Amends the circumstances when underinsurance motorist coverage is deemed to apply to the first dollar of an underinsured motorist coverage claim beyond amounts paid to the claimant under the policy to include the possibility that there might be more than one policy applicable to the underinsured vehicle at the time of the accident. Directs that the amount of underinsured motorist coverage applicable to any claim for benefits will not be reduced by a setoff or credit against any coverage, including liability insurance, except for workers' compensation coverage to the extent provided for in GS 20-279.21(e). Specifies that, if a claimant is an insured under the underinsured motorist coverage on separate or additional policies, the total amount of underinsured motorist coverage applicable to the claimant is the sum of the limits of the claimant's underinsured motorist coverages as determined by combining the highest limit available under each policy and will not be reduced by a setoff against any coverage, including liability insurance, except for workers' compensation coverage to the extent provided for in GS 20-279.21(e). Deletes language describing how the limits of underinsured motorist coverage are currently met. Amends GS 20-279.21(m)(3) to require those who purchase motor vehicle insurance in the state to purchase underinsured motorist bodily coverage (currently, only required if applicable). Makes conforming changes to GS 20-279.21(m)(4).
Amends GS 20-279.25 (money or securities as proof of financial responsibility) to change the deposit amounts from $85,000 to $125,000.