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April 6, 2009

Missouri: Call Your Senator to Request a Vote in Favor of Senate Bill 335 – No Pay/No Play

Senate Bill 335, more formally known as Senate Committee Substitute for Senate Bills Numbers 335 & 16, is expected to come to the floor this week for debate. It promises to be a contentious fight between the trial bar and those who want to create incentives to lower the number of uninsured drivers.

SB 335 encourages uninsured motorists to obtain coverage, thereby helping us all. The bill:

  • Makes it a crime to forge an insurance ID card or to possess a forged card;
  • Provides that a person who foregoes obtaining coverage waives his right to collect non-economic damages if injured in an accident that is the fault of another.

WHY SHOULD SOMEONE WHO IS NOT CARRYING HIS WEIGHT BENEFIT?

Despite the misinformation that is sure to be spread, No Pay/No Play does not do the following:

  • It will not result in the families of an uninsured driver being hurt financially. The driver is allowed to collect lost wages and his medical bills and car repair will be covered. However, he will not receive damages for “pain and suffering.”
  • Drivers who didn’t know their insurance was cancelled for non-payment will not be hurt financially because a check was lost in the mail. The law provides a grace period after the insurance company informs the driver of the missed payment.
  • It does not protect drunk drivers. No Pay/No Play has an exception for uninsured drivers who will be able to collect non-economic damages when the other driver was drunk
  • It does not financially hurt children or other passengers. They are allowed to collect their full damages.

NAMIC urges its members to contact their state senators to let them know that SB 335 is worthy of their support. If you do not know who your state senator is, the Senate’s home page will do the work.

The best way to contact the senator is by telephone. Because of spam, emails are often overlooked.

It is likely you will not immediately make contact when you call. Leave a message with your name and your home address, so that your senator will know you are a constituent. Explain that you support SB 335 because it will reduce the number of uninsured drivers and that it provides fairness for people who buy insurance.

Also, while these proposals do not directly affect farm mutuals, many mutual managers and director are involved with automobile coverage and need to know.

NAMIC will work closely on this issue with our state trade partners, the Missouri Insurance Coalition and the Missouri Association of Mutual Insurance Companies. A fact sheet the Missouri Insurance Coalition is distributing is provided for your convenience.

Direct questions to NAMIC State Affairs Manager Mark Johnston.

Posted: Monday, April 06, 2009 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Tuesday, April 07, 2009 9:16:27 AM.

317.875.5250 - Indianapolis  |  202.628.1558 - Washington, D.C.

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