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PA Governor Rendell Signs Bill to Protect Soldiers from Auto Insurance Rate Hikes

A bill that passed both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature with no dissenting votes and was signed into law on October 6, 2005 by Gov....
October 25, 2005

A bill that passed both houses of the Pennsylvania legislature with no dissenting votes and was signed into law on October 6, 2005 by Gov. Ed Rendell (D) prohibits insurance companies from penalizing military personnel called to active duty.

The bill (HB 1261), sponsored by state Rep. Bernard T. O'Neill (R), amends state statutes to provide that an insurer may not penalize by canceling, not renewing, imposing a surcharge or rate penalty, or removing a discount price on insurance a soldier who defers his motor vehicle insurance during periods of active duty.  The was approved 197-0 in the House and 49-0 in the Senate. The bill takes effect immediately. The new law specifies that the specific intent of the legislature is to treat individuals subject to the provision "as if no deferral of insurance coverage occurred and insurance coverage was not interrupted."

In May 2004, PIA National initiated a nationwide grassroots campaign encouraging all state departments of insurance to make it clear that no insurance company should deny auto coverage to U.S. Armed Forces personnel, or raise their rates, because their coverage lapsed while they were on active duty. In six months, 24 states issued bulletins, orders or regulations stating that underwriting standards for continuous coverage should be waived for all active duty Armed Forces personnel who serve overseas.

"Our brave men and women who fight for all of us should receive the heartfelt thanks of a grateful nation - not an insurance rate hike or denial - upon their return," said PIA National Executive Vice President and CEO Len Brevik, announcing the campaign. "There is a time and place to strictly adhere to underwriting standards that favor continuous coverage, but in the case of our returning soldiers these standards need to be waived."

PIA Says Don't Penalize Returning U.S. Soldiers (5/17/2004):

PIA Notes Strong State Response to Call to Protect Coverage of Returning Soldiers (Insurance Journal 6/7/04)

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