NAII Expresses Concerns about Vt. UIM Bills

May 9, 2003

The National Association of Independent Insurers has issued a bulletin stating that two Vermont bills that include provisions dealing with underinsured motorist coverage (UIM) “would be detrimental to auto insurers and their policyholders.”

Gerald Zimmerman, NAII senior counsel, stated: “We object to the Senate bill in its entirety because it would expand the definition of ‘underinsured’ and eliminate choice by mandating arbitration to settle any dispute.” He indicated, however ,that “The House bill, on the other hand, deals with municipal liability and is only objectionable because of the addition of UIM provisions from the Senate bill.”

“S.B. 119, currently in the House Transportation Committee, defines a motor vehicle as “underinsured” if its liability limits for personal injury are unavailable to any injured party due to claims made by other parties injured in an accident,” the NAII explained.

“H.B. 453 passed the Senate with amendments incorporating the UIM language of S.B. 119 into the bill. The bill provides that an exclusive right of action lies against the municipality employing a person committing an act or omission involving damage to property, personal injury, or death within the scope of his or her employment. It also prohibits cause of action from being filed against the municipal employee or his or her estate,” said the announcement.

Zimmerman characterized S.B. 119 as “a wholly unnecessary bill,” and urged the House “to kill it.” He reiterated that “H.B. 453, which is now in conference committee, is acceptable if the committee omits the UIM provisions.”

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