H-0984.1  _______________________________________________


                          HOUSE BILL 1641



State of Washington      57th Legislature     2001 Regular Session


By Representatives Santos, Bush, Kenney, Keiser, McDermott and Conway


Read first time 01/31/2001.  Referred to Committee on Financial Institutions & Insurance.

Assisting low-income persons to obtain affordable automobile liability insurance.

    AN ACT Relating to assisting low‑income persons to obtain affordable automobile liability insurance; and adding a new section to chapter 48.22 RCW.




    NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.  A new section is added to chapter 48.22 RCW to read as follows:

    (1) The legislature finds that low-income persons have difficulty affording the mandatory liability insurance required under chapter 46.30 RCW.  Some of these persons do not have automobile liability insurance solely because the premium is significantly higher, sometimes double, and therefore unaffordable to them, because they previously have not had automobile insurance, or have not had automobile insurance in the previous year or two.  The legislature intends to enable and encourage these persons to obtain automobile insurance and develop a history of having automobile insurance so that the premium is and continues to be affordable.  The legislature intends to accomplish this by equitably apportioning, among insurers required to participate in the assigned risk plan, coverage for up to two years for low-income persons without insurance as if they had a history of having automobile insurance.

    (2)(a) The commissioner shall create a plan under RCW 48.22.020 to provide the minimum mandatory automobile liability coverages required under chapter 46.30 RCW to low-income persons who have not had automobile insurance during the prior year at the premium level that would apply if the person had prior continuous automobile insurance coverage.  The policy shall have a term of one year, renewable for one additional year.  The plan shall provide a premium financing arrangement that allows the premium to be paid in monthly installments.

    (b) For purposes of this section, "low-income person" means a person in a household with a gross annual household income that does not exceed one hundred fifty percent of the federal poverty level.

    (c) The policy shall cover the person named in the policy, and to the same extent that insurance is provided to the named insured, any other person using the automobile with permission, express or implied.


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