On July 8, 2009, Governor Rell signed a Bill that requires an automobile liability insurer to disclose the limits applicable under a policy it issued within 14 days after receiving a written request for it. The request must be made on behalf of a person claiming bodily injury or death resulting from a car accident involving a person the insurer’s policy covers. The insurance company’s disclosure must be in writing and set forth all available insurance coverage for the car accident including umbrella or excess liability coverage. The law goes into effect on October 1, 2009 and will apply to all claims filed on or after that date.
This law is significant for people injured in a Connecticut car accident. Before this law, an insurance company was not required to disclose its insured’s policy limits prior to litigation. Consequently in order for the plaintiff’s attorney to discover the policy limits, a lawsuit had to be filed. With the filing of the lawsuit additional time and expenses are incurred. In cases where the tortfeasor has minimum insurance coverage which would under compensate the injured person, the costs and time of litigation against the tortfeasor can now be avoided because the policy limits will be disclosed prior to litigation and a settlement exhausting the policy limits can be obtained. Furthermore, a claim for underinsured motorist benefits can now be made in a more timely fashion.