PCI Commends N.H. Action on ‘Black Box’ Legislation

In a move that will reportedly help insurers hold down premiums and prevent fraud, the New Hampshire Senate Transportation Committee has voted unanimously to block legislation that would restrict insurers access to electronic data recorders (EDRs). The vote to re-refer HB 599 back to committee effectively ends all activity on the bill for the remainder of the legislative session.

“Yesterday’s action by the Transportation Committee marked a significant day in the progress of positive insurance reform in the state of New Hampshire,” said Frank O’Brien, regional vice president for PCI. “We are pleased that Sen. Flanders and the committee recognized the legislation could have raised premiums and made it harder for insurance companies to protect consumers against fraud.”

EDRs, commonly referred to as ‘black boxes,’ can reportedly benefit everyone from drivers to law enforcement agencies and vehicle manufacturers to insurers. EDR data can help to quickly verify or disprove claimant or witness accounts and help determine whether alleged injuries are consistent with the nature of the collision. Use of the data can also help insurers to settle cases quickly before costly and time-consuming litigation is initiated. “By helping insurers reduce the cost of adjusting claims, EDR data helps insurers hold the line on premium increases,” said O’Brien.

HB599 requires disclosure to consumers of the presence of event data recording devices in new motor vehicles and requires the disconnection of the devices upon request by the consumer. More significantly, the bill restricts any third party, with the exception of law enforcement and manufacturers, from access to the devices.

“Preserving insurance companies’ access to EDRs will enable us to continue to obtain accurate information that will help fairly settle claims and protect consumers against fraud,” added O’Brien.