Thursday, May 5 - Resisting efforts to impose new regulatory mandates, the Maryland legislature’s enactment of seven bills to enhance the state’s teen driver graduated licensing statutes and provide stricter provisions for driving permits will address a key loss area for insurers, according to the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).
“Traffic safety is a key objective of NAMIC member companies and stiffer requirements governing teenage driving is a positive development,” said NAMIC State Affairs manager Tami Stanton. “While teen drivers accounted for only 4.8 percent of the driving population in 2003, they were the drivers in 22.1 percent of all accidents and 17 percent of those that were fatal.”
“Fortunately, the legislature did not pass negative bills mandating mold coverages, burdensome written notice requirements on flood insurance or annual homeowner policyholder statements summarizing coverages and exclusions,” noted Stanton.
Brief descriptions of the bills relating to teen drivers follow:
SB 57 and HB 393 prohibit provisional license holders under 18 from driving with passengers who are under 18, for five months after the provisional license is issued. The prohibition is not applicable if there is an older, supervising driver in the vehicle or if the passenger is a relative of the driver.
HB 395 requires at least 60 hours, 10 hours of which must occur during the period beginning 30 minutes before sunset and ending 30 minutes after sunrise, of behind-the-wheel driving practice supervised by an individual who holds a valid driver’s license, is at least 21, and has been licensed to drive for at least three years.
SB 50 and HB 394 provide that, except for calls to 9-1-1, an individual under 18 who holds a learner’s permit or a provisional driver’s license, is prohibited from using a wireless communication device while operating a motor vehicle.
SB 209 provides that a learner’s permit holder may only apply for a provisional driver’s license six months after first receiving the learner’s permit or committing a moving violation which resulted in a conviction. The Motor Vehicle Administration may not issue a provisional license to an individual who is younger than 16 years, 3 months, or a license to an individual younger than 17 years, 9 months.
SB 206 expands the prohibition against a person receiving a nonprovisional driver’s license. The existing 18-month waiting period for an unrestricted license starts anew from the date of a violation of provisional driver’s night driving restrictions or safety restraint restrictions, or the date of restoration of the person’s provisional driver’s license or driving privilege that has been revoked or suspended.
Brief descriptions of the insurance regulatory bills follow.
The legislature also enacted bills on regulatory matters such as producer continuing education, filing fees, antitrust, military personal underwriting restrictions, payment of attorney fees and delinquency proceedings against insolvent insurers.
For further information, contact
Rick Nelson, APR (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Founded in 1895, NAMIC is a full-service national trade association with more than 1,400 member companies that underwrite 43 percent ($196 billion) of the property/casualty insurance premium in the United States. NAMIC members account for 44 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the automobile market, 39 percent of the workers’ compensation market, and 31 percent of the commercial property and liability market. NAMIC benefits member companies through advocacy, public policy and member services. Information about the association, its member companies and the property/casualty insurance industry can be found at NAMIC Online. www.namic.org.