HB0162I Introduced Bill Text





Pre-filed December 23, 1996 and 1000 copies ordered printed.

ANNE C. WALKER, Chief Clerk



To repeal sections 303.026 and 379.118, RSMo 1994, relating to motor vehicle insurance, and to enact in lieu thereof two new sections relating to the same subject.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

Section A. Sections 303.026 and 379.118, RSMo 1994, are repealed and two new sections enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as sections 303.026 and 379.118, to read as follows:

303.026. 1. The director shall inform each owner who registers a motor vehicle of the following:

(1) The existence of the requirement that every motor vehicle owner in the state maintain [his] such owner's financial responsibility;

(2) The vehicle's registration will only be renewed if the owner shows an insurer's statement providing proof of maintaining financial responsibility for such vehicle in the previous year, or such period in the previous year, in which the vehicle was owned;

(3) The penalties which apply to violations of the requirement to maintain financial responsibility;

[(3)] (4) The benefits of maintaining coverages in excess of those which are required;

[(4)] (5) The director's authority to conduct samples of Missouri motor vehicle owners to insure compliance.

2. No motor vehicle owner shall be issued registration for a vehicle unless the owner, or [his] the owner's authorized agent[,]:

(1) Signs a statement provided by the director of revenue at the time of registration of the vehicle certifying that such owner has and will maintain, during the period of registration, financial responsibility with respect to each motor vehicle that is owned, licensed or operated on the streets or highways[.]; and

(2) Presents an insurer's statement or statements, at the time of renewal of the registration of a vehicle that shows proof of financial responsibility for such vehicle was maintained during the previous year or, if the vehicle was owned by the registrant for less than one year, during the period for which the vehicle was registered by that registrant. In lieu of an insurer's statement, the owner may present an affidavit stating that the owner did not in the previous year have financial responsibility with respect to the vehicle because the owner was not a resident of Missouri, did not have a motor vehicle registered in Missouri or did not have a Missouri driver's license or such license was suspended or revoked for the previous year. If such proof or an affidavit is not supplied, the director shall register the vehicle and initiate proceedings against the registrant for failure to maintain proof of financial responsibility as prescribed by this chapter.

3. The director shall annually select for financial responsibility verification, a sample of the motor vehicle registrations or licenses which is statistically significant to determine the number of insured motorists in the state of Missouri, or to insure compliance. The director may utilize a variety of sampling techniques including but not limited to the processing of uniform traffic tickets, point system warning letters, and random surveys of motor vehicle registrations.

4. Upon determination that the information provided by the owner or authorized agent is inaccurate, the director shall notify the owner of the need to provide, within thirty days, information establishing the existence of the required financial responsibility as of the date of such notice. Failure to provide such information shall result in the suspension of all registrations of the owner's motor vehicles failing to meet such requirements, as is provided in section 303.041.

379.118. 1. If any insurer proposes to cancel or to refuse to renew a policy of automobile insurance delivered or issued for delivery in this state except at the request of the named insured or for nonpayment of premium, it shall, on or before thirty days prior to the proposed effective date of the action, send written notice by certificate of mailing of its intended action to the named insured at [his] the insured's last known address. The notice shall state:

(1) The proposed action to be taken;

(2) The proposed effective date of the action;

(3) The insurer's actual reason for proposing to take such action, the statement of reason to be sufficiently clear and specific so that a person of average intelligence can identify the basis for the insurer's decision without further inquiry. Generalized terms such as "personal habits", "living conditions", "poor morals", or "violation or accident record" shall not suffice to meet the requirements of this subdivision;

(4) That the insured may be eligible for insurance through the assigned risk plan if [his] the insured's insurance is to be canceled.

2. An insurer shall send an insured written notice of an automobile policy renewal at least fifteen days prior to the effective date of the new policy. The notice shall be sent by first class mail and shall contain the insured's name, the vehicle covered, the total premium amount, and the effective date of the new policy. The insurer shall send with the written notice a statement which shall state the length of time the insured has had continuous coverage on the most recent automobile policy.