Highlights of the otherwise quiet 2000 legislative session for insurers in Arizona included the passage of House Bill 2069 and Senate Bill 1130–two laws that will help further online insurance sales and modify auto policy standards.
The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) played an important role in the passage of HB 2069, a version of the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). The bill ensures electronic signatures and records have the same legal effect as written signatures and records. UETA and the majority of the new laws take effect July 18.
According to Sam Sorich, vice president and western regional manger for NAII, customers who use this medium would enjoy the same protections they currently have by law. The legislation is also voluntary, which means consumers who do not wish to do business over the Internet will never be forced to do so.
In addition to playing a key part in the passage of HB 2069, NAII successfully sponsored SB 1130, which adds two beneficial changes to Arizona auto policy rules. The law gives insurers more time to bring a subrogation action in uninsured motorist claims. The law moves the subrogation filing deadline from the date of the uninsured motorist (UM) accident to date of first payment of UM benefits to the policyholder.
SB 1130 also allows insurers to keep costs down by weeding out high-risk drivers. Existing law allows auto insurers to non-renew drivers who have three or more at-fault accidents during a three-year period under a single policy. The new law allows insurers to non-renew drivers who have a total of three or more accidents under multiple policies issued by the same insurer.