The 2006 legislative agenda for property/casualty insurers in Colorado
will be dominated by automobile insurance and regulatory issues, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).
“Automobile insurance issues will once again be at the top of the agenda,” said Kelly Campbell, regional manager for PCI. “Our top priority will be to preserve the current tort-based system, which has enabled Colorado drivers to save money and has given them the option to purchase only the coverage they need. We will vigorously oppose efforts to mandate medical payments coverage and tell lawmakers to
just say no to changes that strip away the cost savings achieved by moving to the tort system. Some of the proposals being discussed will require most drivers to pay twice for medical coverage – once through their health insurance and a second time through car insurance. These efforts hurt consumers by taking away consumer choice and increasing the cost of insurance.”
The Colorado legislature, which convenes Wednesday, will consider several legislative proposals developed by the Interim Auto Insurance Committee this fall. The committee focused much of its attention on chiropractors’, hospitals’, trauma centers’ and emergency first responders’ claims of financial problems.
“We expect the legislative wrangling over the impact of the transition to the tort-based system will be intense as these interest groups seek to address their financial woes at the expense of Colorado motorists,” said Campbell. “However, forcing Colorado drivers to pay more for auto insurance is not the answer.”
Legislation that has been considered during past sessions and will likely resurface again this session includes proposals to ban or severely restrict credit-based insurance scoring and efforts to reverse reforms to the workers’ compensation system.
PCI also expects to see proposals for prior approval of rates and market conduct legislation. Last year the Legislature defeated several insurance scoring bills and legislation that would have prohibited the workers’ comp guaranty fund from seeking reimbursement from large employers.
A new version of workers’ comp legislation that allows injured employees to choose their own medical provider is expected to be introduced this session after similar legislation was repeatedly
defeated last year.
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