§431:10C-313  Insurer practices regarding loss of use, storage and towing, and betterment.  (a)  In motor vehicle property damage liability claims in which liability is reasonably clear, the insurer shall pay for the reasonable and necessary costs, in direct proportion to the extent of its liability, incurred in the rental of another motor vehicle as long as the loss of use claim is submitted and substantiated.

  (b)(1)  The insurer shall provide reasonable notice to an insured prior to termination of payment for motor vehicle storage charges and document the notice in the claim file.  Sufficient notice to the insured to allow the insured to remove the vehicle from storage prior to the termination of payment shall constitute reasonable notice.

     (2)  The insurer shall pay any and all reasonable towing charges, irrespective of the towing company used by the insured, unless the insurer has provided the insured with the name of a specific towing company prior to the insured's use of another towing company.  Any determination of reasonable towing charges shall consider policy coverage as well as the cost and distances involved in each claim.

     (3)  An insurer shall make no advance charge deductions for storage and towing charges unless excessive charges have resulted from the insured's own actions.  The insurer shall itemize each advance charge deduction and maintain in its claim file documentation of the reasons and dollar amounts involved in each deduction.

     (c)  Betterment deductions are allowable only if the deductions:

     (1)  Reflect a measurable decrease in market value attributable to the poorer condition of, or prior damage to, the insured vehicle;

     (2)  Are for prior wear and tear, missing parts and rust damage that is reflective of the general overall condition of the vehicle considering its age; provided that any deductions for this type of damage shall not exceed $500; and

     (3)  Are measurable, itemized, specified as to dollar amount, and documented in the insurer's claim file.

     (d)  No insurer shall require the insured or claimant to supply parts for replacement. [L 1987, c 347, pt of §2]