Establishes that insurers providing rental vehicle reimbursement coverage shall not require an insured to utilize a particular rental vehicle company; requires an insurer writing automobile insurance which includes rental vehicle reimbursement coverage to inform the consumer of his or her right to choose a rental vehicle company to utilize in the event he or she utilizes such coverage.
BILL NUMBER: S4651
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the insurance law, in relation to rental vehicle reimbursement coverage
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL :
The purpose of this bill is to ensure that consumers utilizing rental vehicle reimbursement coverage are able to rent from the rental vehicle company of their choice.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS :
This bill would:
o prohibit insurers providing rental vehicle reimbursement coverage from requiring an insured to utilize a particular rental vehicle company, rental vehicle company location or a particular concern;
o require insurers to disclose to the insured that the insured has the right to utilize any particular rental vehicle company, rental vehicle company location or a particular concern; and
o require insurers writing automobile insurance that includes rental vehicle reimbursement coverage to inform the consumer of his or her rights granted under this section in a separate written document.
There have been instances of insurers steering their customers with rental vehicle reimbursement coverage to use one particular rental vehicle company. Oftentimes, these customers are unaware of the availability of other rental vehicle companies, some of which may offer less expensive rentals than the company favored by the insurer. Consumers should not be forced to use one particular rental vehicle company or be in any way limited in their ability to utilize the coverage they purchased. When insurers recommend only one rental vehicle company without telling the consumer they have the option to use any company, consumers (many of whom are distressed from suffering an accident) often hastily agree to rent from the recommended company, regardless of the fact that other, possibly less expensive and more convenient, options are available. This bill would ensure that consumers are afforded the opportunity to make an informed decision.
This bill is based on Insurance Law section 2610, which prohibits insurers providing collision or comprehensive coverage from requiring an insured to utilize a particular repair shop, or, in processing any such claim, recommending or suggesting that the insured utilize a particular repair shop.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS :
EFFECTIVE DATE : 90 days after enactment.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4651 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 27, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Insurance AN ACT to amend the insurance law, in relation to rental vehicle reimbursement coverage THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The insurance law is amended by adding a new section 2610-a to read as follows: S 2610-A. RENTAL VEHICLE REIMBURSEMENT COVERAGE. (A) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "RENTAL VEHICLE REIMBURSEMENT COVERAGE" SHALL MEAN COVERAGE FOR THE COST OF RENTING A VEHICLE USED AS SUBSTITUTE TRANSPOR- TATION IF THE INSURED VEHICLE IS DAMAGED AND IS TEMPORARILY OUT OF USE DUE TO A COVERED LOSS, UNTIL SUCH VEHICLE IS REPAIRED OR IS DECLARED A TOTAL LOSS. (B) WHENEVER A MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION OR COMPREHENSIVE LOSS SHALL HAVE BEEN SUFFERED BY AN INSURED, NO INSURER PROVIDING RENTAL VEHICLE REIMBURSEMENT COVERAGE SHALL REQUIRE THAT THE INSURED UTILIZE A PARTIC- ULAR RENTAL VEHICLE COMPANY, RENTAL VEHICLE COMPANY LOCATION OR A PARTICULAR CONCERN. (C) IN PROCESSING ANY SUCH CLAIM, THE INSURER SHALL DISCLOSE TO THE INSURED THAT THE INSURED HAS THE RIGHT, AS GRANTED BY THIS SECTION, TO UTILIZE ANY RENTAL VEHICLE COMPANY, RENTAL VEHICLE COMPANY LOCATION OR A PARTICULAR CONCERN. (D) AN INSURER WRITING AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE WHICH INCLUDES RENTAL VEHICLE REIMBURSEMENT COVERAGE SHALL INFORM THE CONSUMER OF HIS OR HER RIGHT, AS GRANTED BY THIS SECTION, TO CHOOSE A RENTAL VEHICLE COMPANY TO UTILIZE IN THE EVENT THAT HE OR SHE UTILIZES SUCH COVERAGE. THE INSURER SHALL PROVIDE THE DISCLOSURE REQUIRED UNDER THIS SECTION TO ANY INSURED ON NEW AND RENEWAL POLICIES. SUCH DISCLOSURE SHALL BE PROVIDED IN A SEPARATE WRITTEN DOCUMENT, WHICH NEED NOT BE PROVIDED IN A SEPARATE MAILING AS ANOTHER DOCUMENT AS LONG AS IT IS PROVIDED ON A SEPARATEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD08619-01-9 S. 4651 2
PIECE OF PAPER, EXCEPT THAT FOR NEW BUSINESS IT MAY BE PROVIDED EITHER IN WRITING OR IN THE SAME MEDIUM AS THE APPLICATION FOR INSURANCE. S 2. Severability and construction. The provisions of this act shall be severable, and if any court of competent jurisdiction declares any phrase, clause, sentence or provision of this act to be invalid, or its applicability to any government, agency, person or circumstance is declared invalid, the remainder of this act and its relevant applicabil- ity shall not be affected. The provisions of this act shall be liberally construed to give effect to the purposes thereof. S 3. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.