language to be deleted (2) new language
Laws of Minnesota 1992 CHAPTER 524-H.F.No. 2099 An act relating to insurance; automobile; prohibiting discrimination in automobile insurance policies; specifying rights of insureds; amending Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 72A.20, subdivision 23; Minnesota Statutes 1991 Supplement, section 72A.201, subdivision 6. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 72A.20, subdivision 23, is amended to read: Subd. 23. [DISCRIMINATION IN AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE POLICIES.] (a) No insurer that offers an automobile insurance policy in this state shall: (1) use the employment status of the applicant as an underwriting standard or guideline; or (2) deny coverage to a policyholder for the same reason. (b) No insurer that offers an automobile insurance policy in this state shall: (1) use the applicant's status as a tenant, as the term is defined in section 566.18, subdivision 2, as an underwriting standard or guideline; or (2) deny coverage to a policyholder for the same reason. (c) No insurer that offers an automobile insurance policy in this state shall: (1) use the failure of the applicant to have an automobile policy in force during any period of time before the application is made as an underwriting standard or guideline; or (2) deny coverage to a policyholder for the same reason. This provision does not apply if the applicant was required by law to maintain automobile insurance coverage and failed to do so. An insurer may require reasonable proof that the applicant did not fail to maintain this coverage. The insurer is not required to accept the mere lack of a conviction or citation for failure to maintain this coverage as proof of failure to maintain coverage. (d) No insurer that offers an automobile insurance policy in this state shall use an applicant's prior claims for benefits paid under section 65B.44 as an underwriting standard or guideline if the applicant was 50 percent or less negligent in the accident or accidents causing the claims. Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1991 Supplement, section 72A.201, subdivision 6, is amended to read: Subd. 6. [STANDARDS FOR AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE CLAIMS HANDLING, SETTLEMENT OFFERS, AND AGREEMENTS.] In addition to the acts specified in subdivisions 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9, the following acts by an insurer, adjuster, or a self-insured or self-insurance administrator constitute unfair settlement practices: (1) if an automobile insurance policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of an automobile total loss on the basis of actual cash value or replacement with like kind and quality and the insured is not an automobile dealer, failing to offer one of the following methods of settlement: (a) comparable and available replacement automobile, with all applicable taxes, license fees, at least pro rata for the unexpired term of the replaced automobile's license, and other fees incident to the transfer or evidence of ownership of the automobile paid, at no cost to the insured other than the deductible amount as provided in the policy; (b) a cash settlement based upon the actual cost of purchase of a comparable automobile, including all applicable taxes, license fees, at least pro rata for the unexpired term of the replaced automobile's license, and other fees incident to transfer of evidence of ownership, less the deductible amount as provided in the policy. The costs must be determined by: (i) the cost of a comparable automobile, adjusted for mileage, condition, and options, in the local market area of the insured, if such an automobile is available in that area; or (ii) one of two or more quotations obtained from two or more qualified sources located within the local market area when a comparable automobile is not available in the local market area. The insured shall be provided the information contained in all quotations prior to settlement; or (iii) any settlement or offer of settlement which deviates from the procedure above must be documented and justified in detail. The basis for the settlement or offer of settlement must be explained to the insured; (2) if an automobile insurance policy provides for the adjustment and settlement of an automobile partial loss on the basis of repair or replacement with like kind and quality and the insured is not an automobile dealer, failing to offer one of the following methods of settlement: (a) to assume all costs, including reasonable towing costs, for the satisfactory repair of the motor vehicle. Satisfactory repair includes repair of both obvious and hidden damage as caused by the claim incident. This assumption of cost may be reduced by applicable policy provision; or (b) to offer a cash settlement sufficient to pay for satisfactory repair of the vehicle. Satisfactory repair includes repair of obvious and hidden damage caused by the claim incident, and includes reasonable towing costs; (3) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, in the event that a damaged vehicle of an insured cannot be safely driven, failing to exercise the right to inspect automobile damage prior to repair within five business days following receipt of notification of claim. In other cases the inspection must be made in 15 days; (4) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, requiring unreasonable travel of a claimant or insured to inspect a replacement automobile, to obtain a repair estimate, to allow an insurer to inspect a repair estimate, to allow an insurer to inspect repairs made pursuant to policy requirements, or to have the automobile repaired; (5) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, if loss of use coverage exists under the insurance policy, failing to notify an insured at the time of the insurer's acknowledgment of claim, or sooner if inquiry is made, of the fact of the coverage, including the policy terms and conditions affecting the coverage and the manner in which the insured can apply for this coverage; (6) regardless of whether the loss was total or partial, failing to include the insured's deductible in the insurer's demands under its subrogation rights. Subrogation recovery must be shared at least on a proportionate basis with the insured, unless the deductible amount has been otherwise recovered by the insured, except that when an insurer is recovering directly from an uninsured third party by means of installments, the insured must receive the full deductible share as soon as that amount is collected and before any part of the total recovery is applied to any other use. No deduction for expenses may be made from the deductible recovery unless an attorney is retained to collect the recovery, in which case deduction may be made only for a pro rata share of the cost of retaining the attorney. An insured is not bound by any settlement of its insurer's subrogation claim with respect to the deductible amount, unless the insured receives, as a result of the subrogation settlement, the full amount of the deductible. Recovery by the insurer and receipt by the insured of less than all of the insured's deductible amount does not affect the insured's rights to recover any unreimbursed portion of the deductible from parties liable for the loss; (7) requiring as a condition of payment of a claim that repairs to any damaged vehicle must be made by a particular contractor or repair shop or that parts, other than window glass, must be replaced with parts other than original equipment parts; (8) where liability is reasonably clear, failing to inform the claimant in an automobile property damage liability claim that the claimant may have a claim for loss of use of the vehicle; (9) failing to make a good faith assignment of comparative negligence percentages in ascertaining the issue of liability; (10) failing to pay any interest required by statute on overdue payment for an automobile personal injury protection claim; (11) if an automobile insurance policy contains either or both of the time limitation provisions as permitted by section 65B.55, subdivisions 1 and 2, failing to notify the insured in writing of those limitations at least 60 days prior to the expiration of that time limitation; (12) if an insurer chooses to have an insured examined as permitted by section 65B.56, subdivision 1, failing to notify the insured of all of the insured's rights and obligations under that statute, including the right to request, in writing, and to receive a copy of the report of the examination; (13) failing to provide, to an insured who has submitted a claim for benefits described in section 65B.44, a complete copy of the insurer's claim file on the insured, excluding internal company memoranda, all materials that relate to any insurance fraud investigation, materials that constitute attorney work-product or that qualify for the attorney-client privilege, and medical reviews that are subject to section 145.64, within ten business days of receiving a written request from the insured. The insurer may charge the insured a reasonable copying fee. This clause supersedes any inconsistent provisions of sections 72A.49 to 72A.505; (14) if an automobile policy provides for the adjustment or settlement of an automobile loss due to damaged window glass, failing to assume all costs sufficient to pay the insured's chosen vendor for the replacement of comparable window glass at a price generally available in the area. This clause does not prohibit an insurer from recommending a vendor to the insured or from agreeing with a vendor to perform work at an agreed-upon price. Sec. 3. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] Sections 1 and 2 are effective January 1, 1993, and apply to all policies issued or renewed on or after that date. Presented to the governor April 17, 1992 Signed by the governor April 29, 1992, 7:56 a.m.