U.S. Property and Casualty Insurance Association on “harmful bill”

The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) warns that passing Senate Bill 256 would cause car insurance premiums to skyrocket.

“This harmful bill could result in higher auto insurance costs for consumers at a time when many can least afford it,” stated Nancy Egan, APCIA vice president and state government relations counsel, in a press statement following Friday’s passage of Senate measure 256 by the Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor.

Over the last five years, auto insurance the supply chain problems, and the rising costs of medical care and vehicle repairs have contributed to a 36.2% increase in auto insurance prices over the last five years. Additional increases in the cost of auto insurance may be possible as a result of Senate Bill 256.

When an insured person seeks coverage from their own insurer because another driver does not have enough coverage, Senate Bill 256 would increase litigation, according to APCIA.

Senator Bill 256 is terrible news overall, but especially for people living in Virginia, according to APCIA. Car insurance premiums for Virginians are already higher than before a 2021 law hike raised the minimum limits, as pointed out. Officials plan to implement another hike in the following year as well.

According to Egan, members of his camp see Senate Bill 256 as a mere repetition of current Virginia law, and he warned that “auto insurance costs will increase for many Virginians, especially those who purchase the lowest levels of coverage and can least afford any more price hikes” when the next increase in minimum limits arrives in 2025. If passed, Senate Bill 256 would make already-high auto insurance premiums even more expensive.

“APCIA strongly recommends that lawmakers reject Senate Bill 256 in order to prevent an increase in the cost of auto insurance for Virginians.”

According to the Virginia Bureau of Insurance, there were only seven cases of unfair claim breaches by insurers over a five-year period. However, the trade body emphasized that consumers already had remedies under the Unfair Claims Settlement Practices Law, which is already in Virginia law.