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Sponsors: Reps. Walker, Cato, Harrell, Bingham, Leach, Loftis, Tripp, Cooper, White, Townsend, Bales, Battle and Dantzler
Document Path: l:\council\bills\nbd\12092ac06.doc
Introduced in the House on February 8, 2006
Currently residing in the House Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry
Summary: Automobile insurance
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 2/8/2006 House Introduced and read first time HJ-8 2/8/2006 House Referred to Committee on Labor, Commerce and Industry HJ-8
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND SECTION 38-77-150, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE, THE UNINSURED MOTORIST PROVISION, AND DEFENSE OF AN ACTION BY THE INSURER, SO AS TO ALLOW AN INSURER TO PROVIDE COVERAGE WITH CERTAIN LIMITATIONS IF THE INSURED ACCEPTS THE OFFER OF ALTERNATIVE COVERAGE; AND TO AMEND SECTION 38-77-350, RELATING TO THE FORM TO BE USED WHEN OPTIONAL AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COVERAGES ARE OFFERED TO AN INSURED, SO AS TO PROVIDE THAT THE FORM MUST NOT NECESSARILY BE COMPLETED BY THE INSURED, BUT MUST BE SIGNED BY THE INSURED TO BE USED AS EVIDENCE OF INFORMED SELECTION.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 38-77-150 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 38-77-150. (A)
No An automobile insurance policy or a contract may must not be issued or delivered unless it contains a provision by endorsement or otherwise, herein referred to in this section as the uninsured motorist provision, undertaking to pay the insured all sums which he is legally is entitled to recover as damages from the owner or operator of an uninsured motor vehicle, within limits which may must be no less than the requirements of Section 38-77-140. The uninsured motorist provision must also must provide for no less than ten thousand dollars' coverage for injury to or destruction of the property of the insured in any one accident but may provide an exclusion of the first two hundred dollars of the loss or damage. The director or his designee may prescribe the form to be used in providing uninsured motorist coverage and when prescribed and promulgated no other another form may must not be used.
No An action may must not be brought under pursuant to the uninsured motorist provision unless copies of the pleadings in the action establishing liability are served in the manner provided by law upon the insurer writing the uninsured motorist provision. The insurer has the right to appear and defend in the name of the uninsured motorist in any an action which that may affect its liability and has thirty days after service of process on it in which to appear. The evidence of service upon the insurer may must not be made a part of the record.
(C) Benefits paid pursuant to this section are subject to subrogation and assignment if an uninsured motorist has selected the option to be uninsured by paying the fee pursuant to Section 56-10-510.
(D)(1) Notwithstanding another section in this article, an insurer may offer a policy of uninsured motorist coverage containing policy provisions, in language approved by the director, establishing that if the insured accepts this offer:
(a) the coverage provided as to two or more motor vehicles must not be added together to determine the limit of insurance coverage available to an injured person for any one accident, except as provided in subitem (c);
(b) if at the time of the accident the injured person is occupying a motor vehicle, the uninsured motorist coverage available to him is the coverage available as to that motor vehicle;
(c) if the injured person is occupying a motor vehicle that is not owned by him or by a family member residing in the household, the injured person is entitled to the highest limits of uninsured motorist coverage afforded for any one vehicle as to which he is a named insured or insured family member. This coverage must be excess over the coverage on the vehicle the injured person is occupying;
(d) the uninsured motorist coverage provided by the policy does not apply to the named insured or family members residing in the household who are injured while occupying a vehicle owned by the insured for which uninsured motorist coverage was not purchased;
(e) if, at the time of the accident the injured person is not occupying a motor vehicle, he is entitled to select any one limit of uninsured motorist coverage for any one vehicle afforded by a policy under which he is insured as a named insured or as an insured resident of the named insured's household.
(2) In connection with the offer authorized by item (1), an insurer shall inform the named insured, applicant, or lessee, on a form approved by the director, of the limitations imposed pursuant to the provisions of item (1) and that the coverage is an alternative to coverage without limitation. If this form is signed by a named insured, applicant, or lessee, it conclusively is presumed that there was an informed, knowing acceptance of the limitations. If the named insured, applicant, or lessee has initially accepted the limitation, the acceptance applies to a policy that renews, extends, changes, supersedes, or replaces an existing policy unless the named insured requests deletion of the limitations and pays the appropriate premium for the coverage."
SECTION 2. Section 38-77-350(A) and (B) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(A) The director or his designee shall approve a form
which that automobile insurers shall use in offering optional coverages required to be offered pursuant to law to applicants for automobile insurance policies. This form must be used by insurers for all new applicants. The form, at a minimum, must provide for each optional coverage required to be offered:
(1) a brief and concise explanation of the coverage
(2) a list of available limits and the range of premiums for the limits
(3) a space
for the insured to mark whether the insured chooses to accept or reject the coverage and a space for the insured to select state the limits of coverage he the insured desires ,;
(4) a space for the insured to sign the form
which that acknowledges that he the insured has been offered the optional coverages ,;
(5) the mailing address and telephone number of the Insurance Department
which that the applicant may contact if the applicant has any questions that the insurance agent is unable to answer.
(B) If this form is
properly completed and executed signed by the named insured it is conclusively presumed that there was an informed, knowing selection of coverage and neither the insurance company nor any an insurance agent has any liability is liable to the named insured or any other another insured under the policy for the insured's failure to purchase any optional coverage or higher limits."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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