2017 Session a Major Victory for IIK and Consumers
IIK passed five of its agenda bills during the 2017 legislative session in a major victory for the insurance industry and its policyholders. In fact, one of those bills contained three individual items sought by IIK, resulting in a total of seven agenda items achieved. The bills passed during the session were:
- Landlord Liability for Dogs: In 2012, the KY Supreme Court held that due to the language of the statute, a landlord could be considered to be the owner of a tenant’s dog for liability purposes. That imposed a much more stringent liability on landlords, affecting their likelihood to allow tenants to keep dogs. HB 112 sponsored by Rep. Stan Lee (R-Lexington) clarified that a landlord would not be considered the owner of a dog merely by the fact that he owns the property.
- Roofing Enforcement: In 2012, a ‘storm chaser” bill was passed that regulated the practices of those who persuade homeowners to sign roofing contracts to repair roof damage that may or not have been caused by a storm. However, that bill had little in the way of enforcement or penalty provisions. SB 128 sponsored by Sen. Paul Hornback (R-Shelbyville) corrected that by allowing those affected by unscrupulous roofers to seek injunctions and recover damages, and possibly recover legal costs.
- Accident Reports: In 2015, a bill imposing a 30-day of solicitation of auto accident victims by medical professionals was passed into law. Still, solicitation has persisted, often facilitated by those who claim the media exemption to obtain accident reports and then pass on those reports to medical providers. HB 215 sponsored by Rep. Bart Rowland (R-Tompkinsville) attempted to curb that practice by clarifying the definition of media for the purpose of obtaining accident reports.
- Judgment Interest: HB 223 sponsored by Rep. Joe Fischer (R-Ft. Thomas) lowered the interest rate that applies to judgments from 12% to 6%, which is much more in line with market rates and the rates found in surrounding states. An artificially high interest serves as a disincentive for those losing a judgment to appeal.
- Combo Bill: HB 191 was sponsored by Rep. Bart Rowland (R-Tompkinsville) and it had three main provisions:
- It clarified the adjuster licensing law to clarify that special investigation unit (SIU) staff who do not adjust claims are exempt from being licensed as adjusters.
- Uninsured Motorist Insurance rejections of coverage may be signed by any named insured for all those on the policy.
- The statute of limitations on PIP claims check which had been reissued was clarified to run from the date that the original check was issued.