Bill to open "floodgates of litigation" against insurers

Warning comes as APCIA calls for legislation's veto

Bill to open "floodgates of litigation" against insurers

Motor & Fleet

By Terry Gangcuangco

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) wants Senate Bill 256 to be vetoed.

“Senate Bill 256 will open the floodgates of litigation against insurance companies by establishing an onerous first-party bad faith law in the state,” APCIA warned. “Only a few other states in the US have enacted such laws. Higher losses and increased litigation mean higher costs for consumers and businesses.”

The warning comes in response to the “harmful bill” being passed by the Virginia General Assembly. APCIA is urging Governor Glenn Youngkin to veto the “misguided” legislation.

Nancy Egan, vice president of state government relations and counsel for APCIA, asserted: “Senate Bill 256 would lead to higher auto insurance loss costs, increased litigation, and could increase the number of uninsured drivers on the road if coverage becomes less affordable.

“The bill would likely have a disproportionate impact on low-income Virginians who can least afford higher premiums. Governor Youngkin needs to protect Virginians from higher auto insurance costs by vetoing Senate Bill 256.

“No other state has a law as problematic as Senate Bill 256, which would make Virginia an outlier to the detriment of every Virginian who purchases auto insurance.”

According to an APCIA-commissioned study conducted by actuarial firm Milliman, Senate Bill 256 could have an additional premium impact of as much as $550 million across motor vehicle insurance in Virginia. The analysis found that the median estimated impact is a 9.9% increase per policyholder.

“Virginians are already dealing with rising auto insurance costs due to inflation, supply chain issues, and the increasing cost of medical care and auto repairs,” Egan noted.

“Over the last five years, auto insurance rates have increased 36.2% in Virginia. Virginians need Governor Youngkin to veto this harmful bill that could raise auto insurance costs by up to an additional 14.3%.”

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