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Mandatory Medical Payment Offer Would Confuse Consumers, Says NAMIC

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 3, 2006)—The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) in conjunction with members of the insurance industry, opposes legislation that would require auto insurers to offer medical payment coverage (HB 1036, Concerning the Requirement that Automobile Insurance Carriers Offer Medical Payment Coverage in Connection with an Automobile Insurance Policy).

"This legislation is unnecessary, unreasonable and likely to confuse insurance consumers," said NAMIC's West Region State Affairs Manager Christian John Rataj.

"The bill would require insurance carriers to document their disclosure of specific information to the consumer about available medical payments coverage and verify that the consumer acknowledges understanding of the disclosures," asserted Rataj to House Business Affairs and Labor Committee members.

"Insurance agents are in the business of selling insurance products, and their income is directly impacted by their ability to sell reasonable and appropriate endorsements and optional coverages, like medical payments coverage, to the consumer. Thus, this legislation is really unnecessary and is little more than a disingenuous attempt to mislead consumers into believing that they 'legally need' to purchase this coverage to lawfully operate their motor vehicle.

"The practical effect of requiring consumers to affirmatively reject, in writing, medical payment coverage is that it could lead some insurance consumers into believing that medical payment coverage is 'necessary and essential' in order to have their medical claims paid.

“Property and Casualty insurance agents typically do not have the experience or expertise necessary to advise consumers on health insurance related decisions. Consumers need to consult with their health insurance policy administrators to determine whether they need or even would benefit from purchasing medical payment coverage as part of their motor vehicle insurance policy," said Rataj.

The bill can be read at NAMIC Online.

For further information, contact
Rick Nelson, APR, CAE
(317) 875-5250 Tel
(317) 879-8408 Fax

Posted: Friday, February 03, 2006 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Wednesday, February 08, 2006 9:27:32 AM.

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

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