Alaska Gov. Pens Motor Liability Legislation

July 29, 2004

Alaska Gov. Frank Murkowski signed 11 bills into law earlier this week, including legislation that changes the existing motor vehicle liability law.

HB 336, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Meyer of Anchorage, changes existing law to provide that those who knowingly violate existing motor vehicle liability laws may not recover damages for the non-economic loss they may suffer while operating a motor vehicle.

It also clarifies existing law so punitive damages do not need to be part of the mandated offers of uninsured /underinsured motorist insurance coverage and clarifies that the mandated offers of uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage do not need to be made on excess or umbrella policies.

This provision addresses recent court rulings that require punitive damage to be part of umbrella policies, a ruling which has led to insurance companies declining to offer certain policy options in Alaska.

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