Report Title:

Assigned Claims

Description:

Amends the assigned claims law to limit the program to individuals injured by uninsured drivers and who have no other means of recovery, and prevent those with insurance coverage but who have failed to purchase uninsured motorist coverage, from receiving free uninsured motorist coverage through the program.

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1735

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO ASSIGNED CLAIMS.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. When section 431:10C-408, Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), was amended by Act 14, Session Laws of Hawaii 2001 (Act 14), it was clear that the legislature intended to limit access to the assigned claims program to drivers who are injured by an uninsured motorist and who have no other available means of recovery.

House standing committee report no. 1125 on the measure, stated that the intent was to clarify that "a person . . . does not qualify for an assigned claim if that person is entitled to uninsured motorist benefits under any applicable policy. This coverage limitation is consistent with the policy that assigned claims are provided as a measure of last resort."

Similarly, senate standing committee report no. 640 found that "this measure will make clear that persons who may have no liability coverage applicable to them because the driver was uninsured or coverage has been denied, does not qualify for an assigned claim, if that person is entitled to uninsured motorist benefits under any applicable policy."

Unfortunately, the result has been quite the opposite. Persons who have failed to purchase optional uninsured motorist coverage but are otherwise insured for personal injury protection benefits and liability coverage are now receiving free uninsured motorist coverage through the assigned claims program. This was never the intent of Act 14.

The legislature repudiates application of the assigned claims program in this manner and hereby repeals the amendment made to section 431:10C-408(a), HRS, by Act 14.

SECTION 2. Section 431:10C-408, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (a) to read as follows:

"(a) Each person sustaining accidental harm, or such person's legal representative, may, except as provided in subsection (b), obtain the motor vehicle insurance benefits through the plan whenever:

(1) No [liability or uninsured motorist] insurance benefits under motor vehicle insurance policies are applicable to the accidental harm;

(2) No such insurance benefits applicable to the accidental harm can be identified; or

(3) The only identifiable insurance benefits under motor vehicle insurance policies applicable to the accidental harm will not be paid in full because of financial inability of one or more self-insurers or insurers to fulfill their obligations."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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