Missouri House Votes Override on Uninsured Motorists

September 13, 2013

The Missouri House has approved a veto override of legislation restricting lawsuits by uninsured motorists.

The House approved the override Wednesday on a 109-51 vote, the bare minimum needed for a two-thirds majority. The bill achieved the mark only after Republican leaders held the voting board open for several minutes while persuading several undecided members.

The measure now goes to the Senate.

According to the American Insurance Association, an industry trade association responding to the decision, research from the Insurance Research Council (IRC) estimates that a state’s uninsured rate can fall by as much as 1.6 percent upon the enactment of a ‘no pay, no play’ law such as HB 339. Ten other states have enacted similar laws.

Under the legislation, drivers lacking insurance would forfeit the ability to collect noneconomic damages from insured drivers. The restriction would not apply if insured drivers involved in accidents were under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

“AIA is pleased the legislature voted to enact this legislation despite the gubernatorial veto issued earlier this summer. The new law will prohibit an uninsured motorist from suing an insured motorist for non-economic losses in the event of a motor vehicle accident and therefore should encourage motorists to purchase insurance so they are adequately protected,” said Steve Shcneider, Midwest region vice president for the AIA.

Supporters say the legislation prevents those without insurance from driving up costs for the system. Opponents note that there already are penalties for driving without insurance.

The uninsured motorist bill is HB339.

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