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4633Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: HouseIntroduced Date: 20000216Primary Sponsor: HawkinsAll Sponsors: Hawkins, Delleney and KlauberDrafted Document Number: l:\council\bills\psd\7063sd00.docResiding Body: HouseCurrent Committee: Labor, Commerce and Industry Committee 26 HLCISubject: Insurance, liability or casualty coverage; property, insurer; coverage disclosures provided to claimants, penaltiesHistory Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ ______________________________________ _______ ____________ House 20000216 Introduced, read first time, 26 HLCI referred to Committee Versions of This Bill
TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 38-55-175 SO AS TO REQUIRE CERTAIN LIABILITY OR CASUALTY INSURANCE COVERAGE DISCLOSURES TO CLAIMANTS OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVES, TO PROVIDE FOR PROCEDURES REQUIRED FOR THESE DISCLOSURES, AND TO AUTHORIZE REASONABLE EXPENSES INCLUDING ATTORNEY'S FEES FOR FAILURE OF AN INSURER TO COMPLY.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. The 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 38-55-175. (A) Every insurer providing liability or casualty insurance coverage in this State and which is or may be liable to pay all or part of any claim, shall, within fifteen days of receiving a written request from the claimant or the claimant's attorney or authorized representative by certified mail, provide a statement under oath, of a corporate officer or the insurer's claims manager stating with regard to each known policy of insurance issued by it, including excess or umbrella insurance, the following:
(1) the name of the insurer;
(2) the name of each insured; and
(3) the limits of coverage.
The insurer may provide a copy of the declaration page of each applicable policy in lieu of providing the information required by this section. The claimant's request shall set forth under oath the specific nature of the claim asserted and shall be mailed to the insurer by certified mail.
(B) If the request provided for in subsection (A) contains information insufficient to allow compliance, the insurer upon whom the request was made may so state in writing, stating specifically what additional information is needed, and the request for additional information shall constitute compliance with this section.
(C) The information provided to a claimant, his attorney, or authorized representative as required by subsection (A) shall not create a waiver of any defenses to coverage available to the insurer and shall not be admissible in evidence unless otherwise permitted by law.
(D) The information provided to a claimant or his attorney as required by subsection (A) shall be updated and amended upon the discovery of facts inconsistent with or in addition to information already provided by the insurer.
(E) If an insurer fails to comply with a properly delivered request pursuant to subsection (A), the claimant may recover reasonable expenses incurred in obtaining the information through other means, including attorney's fees and other costs."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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