Insurance Bill Could Increase Costs for Maryland Drivers

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -The Trial Bar in Maryland is working several bills that could hurt consumers by potentially increasing the cost of insurance. Right now, the legislature is looking at both House Bill 667 and Senate Bill 553. Oyango Snell, state government relations counsel, for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI), issued the following statement in response to the negative impacts these bills will have on Maryland drivers. Snell will be available for comment now and after the Maryland session concludes.

“. HB 667 and SB 533 would allow the trial bar to stack underinsured motorist coverage on top of the liability coverage of the at-fault driver to create a larger coverage amount than the protection level selected by an insured. The bill requires insurers to offer enhanced underinsured motorist coverage and provides for the characteristics of that enhanced underinsured motorist coverage.

“Bottom line, if trial lawyers have their way, they will increase costs to Maryland drivers to enrich themselves. The auto insurance system in Maryland is already designed to cover the costs of an auto accident for underinsured motorists. However, In addition to raising auto insurance costs, if this bill passes, it could also increase the number of underinsured and uninsured drivers on the road. This would have negative implications for all Maryland drivers.”

PCI will continue to work with lawmakers to protect consumers from passing legislation that could hurt both the auto market in Maryland and consumers.

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PCI promotes and protects the viability of a competitive private insurance market for the benefit of consumers and insurers. PCI is composed of nearly 1,000 member companies, representing the broadest cross section of insurers of any national trade association. PCI members write more than $183 billion in annual premium, 35 percent of the nation's property casualty insurance. Member companies write 42 percent of the U.S. automobile insurance market, 27 percent of the homeowners market, 32 percent of the commercial property and liability market and 34 percent of the private workers compensation market.

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PCI will continue to work with lawmakers to protect consumers from passing legislation that could hurt both the auto market in Maryland and consumers.
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