'No Pay, No Play' Auto Insurance Bill Awaits Governor's Signature

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OnlineAutoInsurance.com reports legislation that would limit the recovery rights of uninsured drivers in Montana has gained approval from both houses in the state legislature with slim majorities.

Montana senators and representatives have narrowly passed legislation that would add a “no pay, no play” provision to the state’s insurance law.

“No pay, no play” laws — variations of which are already on the books in a handful of states — exist so that motorists who disobey state compulsory coverage laws and get involved in car crashes while they are uninsured cannot successfully sue for non-economic damages resulting from those accidents.

Proponents of the law say that uninsured drivers should not be able to benefit from others’ purchasing coverage and that instituting a “no pay, no play” provision could reduce the number of large claims that car insurance companies must pay to uninsured motorists, a development which could positively impact premium rates overall.

If the governor signs the bill into law, uninsured drivers involved in accidents could still collect for bodily injury and property damages. But they could not, in most cases, successfully sue for damages related to things like pain and suffering, emotional distress, inconvenience or other non-economic damages.

Source: http://data.opi.mt.gov/bills/2011/billhtml/SB0111.htm

Opponents of the legislation told the House Transportation Committee that those who drive without insurance do so because they are forced to by negative economic circumstances, not because they choose to, and should therefore not have their recovery rights limited.

The bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Jon Sonju, countered at the committee hearing that motorists who have their licenses suspended because of things like drunk-driving offenses manage to find alternate means of transportation and that uninsured individuals should do the same.

The bill passed with slim majorities in both houses. The House passed it with a 58-41 vote, and the vote in the Senate was 26-24.

To learn more about this and other auto insurance issues, readers can go to http://www.onlineautoinsurance.com/companies/ where visitors will have access to a number of informative articles and a free-to-use quote-comparison generator.

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