Every year I have been in the House, we have attempted reforms with the stated goal of limiting litigation and reducing insurance premiums. However, insurance premiums increase unabated. This legislation provides no assurance that it will reduce premiums when previous efforts have failed. This legislation impairs legitimate claims and reduces insurance companies’ accountability to policyholders. With certain negative effects balanced against uncertain and even doubtful benefits, I cannot support this legislation. I hope I am wrong.
The removal of attorney fees for insurance disputes renders small claims infeasible to pursue. Policyholders will receive only partial compensation for large claims, after they pay fees out of their claim value. The current 4-year statute of limitations for negligence should not be reduced because it allows sufficient time to bring legitimate claims without imposing any burden on marshaling witness and proof of claims or defenses. Lastly, consideration of intentional tortfeasors’ wrongful conduct in negligent security litigation essentially eliminates any liability for negligent security, because the intentional tortfeasor is, by definition, vastly more culpable than the parties obligated to provide reasonable security.
Insurers should reduce expense by promptly paying legitimate claims and vigorously fighting frivolous lawsuits.