House Bill No. 413 (House Amendment No. 1) -
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 21 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION RELATED TO AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE.
Enacted and signed by the Governor with an effective date of 9/4/18.
Primary Sponsor: Paradee
Additional Sponsor: Sen. Sokola
Co-sponsors : Sen. Mcdowell + Reps. Bennett, J Johnson, Keeley and Viola
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend § 2907, Title 21 of the Delaware Code:
§2907 Disclosure of information relating to insurance.
(a) A Delaware attorney who represents an injured person, or an individual injured in a motor vehicle accident
who is not represented by an attorney, may, prior to the filing of a civil action for bodily injuries sustained as a result of a motor vehicle accident, request in writing that the insurer disclose the bodily injury limits of liability of any motor vehicle liability policy, as defined by 2902(a) of Title 21, that may be applicable to the claim.
(b) The requesting party shall provide the insurer with the date of the motor vehicle accident, the name and last
known address of the alleged liable party if it has been reported to the requesting party, a copy of the police report, if any, and the claim number, if available.
(c) When requesting the bodily injury limits of liability, the requesting party shall also submit to the insurer the
injured person's medical records, medical bills, and wage-loss documentation, pertaining to the claimed injury and
supporting the damages referenced in subsection (d).
(d) If the total of the medical bills and wage losses submitted equals or exceeds $12,500, the insurer shall respond
in writing within 30 days of receipt of the request, and shall disclose the bodily injury limits of liability at the time of the
accident of all its motor vehicle liability policies, regardless of whether the insurer contests the applicability of the policy to the injured person's claim.
(e) Disclosure of the bodily injury policy limits under this section shall not constitute an admission that the alleged
injury or damage is subject to the policy.
(f) Information concerning the insurance policy is not by reason of disclosure pursuant to this subsection
admissible as evidence at trial.
(g) The disclosure shall be confidential and available only to the individual injured and the attorney representing
the injured person and personnel in the office of the attorney.
Synopsis: Before the filing of a lawsuit, automobile insurance companies are currently not required to disclose liability coverage information to an injured claimant or the attorney representing that claimant. However, once a lawsuit is filed, this information must be disclosed. This legislation will reduce the number of lawsuits filed by requiring automobile insurance companies to disclose liability coverage information prior to the time that a lawsuit is filed.
Significant Provisions - This amendment identifies the relevant information that must be disclosed by insurers and claimants prior to the time that a lawsuit is filed when disclosure of policy limits is requested by a claimant or claimant's attorney. Any insurer insuring any person or entity against damages arising out of a vehicular accident shall disclose the dollar amount of liability coverage under the automobile insurance policy upon receipt of the following: (a) a letter from a claimant or any attorney purporting to represent any claimant which requests such disclosure and (b) a copy of the vehicle accident report, if available. The requesting party must also submit to the insurer the injured person’s medical records, medical bills, and wage-loss documentation, and if the total equals or exceeds $12,500, then the insurer must respond in writing within 30 days of receipt of the request. The disclosure shall be confidential and available only to the claimant, his attorney and personnel in the office of the attorney entitled to access to the claimant's files.