While attention is focused on whether
In exchange for giving up their right to sue, consumers could benefit from lower premiums, Brownsberger said "The idea is that people who are not a part of [the tort system] wouldn't have to pay for it," explained Brownsberger, who is a lawyer. But Michael C. Najjar, a
Another bill reported favorably, House 915, would discourage motorists from driving uninsured by limiting their ability to collect pain-and-suffering damages, even if the other party in an accident is at fault.
"This targets a standing problem" said Brownsberger. But Najjar said uninsured drivers already face significant criminal penalties and that the number of uninsured drivers has been shrinking in recent yearsl. A third bill, House 916, was also reported favorably and would create a commission to study increased auto insurance competition. Brownsberger predicted that the bill will be more of an initial priority to legislative leaders than the more dramatic concept of allowing consumers to opt out of the tort system. "You've got the insurance commissioner expressing serious interest in competition. That's where the first move would be. Once people get used to the idea of having a choice, they would start to inquire more about how their insurance works, and you'll get a variety of choices," said Brownsberger.