I’m just a bill…sitting here at the [Oklahoma State Capitol].” A real-life version of Schoolhouse Rock has been playing out this week at Fulmer Sill as we educate your Senators on the devastating effects SB 1016 would have on long-standing Oklahoma law and on Oklahomans who have elected to purchase (and pay extra for) Uninsured/Underinsured (“UM/UIM”) motorist insurance coverage. As written, SB 1016 would reverse decades of Oklahoma law and allow insurance companies to delay paying you for the insurance benefits you paid to have! Which is completely contrary to the spirit and intent of what UM/UIM coverage was meant for!
We encourage you to get involved in the legislative process and write or call your designated State Senator TODAY and ask him/her to vote NO on SB 1016.
Feel free to copy and paste (or verbalize) the below talking points that we have been using with your Senators:
“My name is ____________ and I live in your District _____.
As a constituent of your District _____ I strongly oppose Senate Bill 1016 which will undo Uninsured/Underinsured insurance coverage that Oklahomans such as myself elect to pay extra for. The bill as written will reverse long-standing Oklahoma law and allow insurance companies to delay payment of paid-for insurance benefits that their insureds elected to pay for. UM/UIM coverage is not mandatory. You have to elect to pay for it. This bill would allow insurance companies to delay the payment of those paid for benefits. This is not what the spirit and intent of UM/UIM coverage was meant for. It is meant to step in and take care of injured parties who elected to pay for the coverage. Here is a concise list of reasons I oppose this bill:
1. People are not required to buy uninsured/underinsured motorist or underinsured insurance coverage, but they do so to protect themselves if they are hit by an uninsured/underinsured motorist or underinsured driver.
2. If you buy UM/UIM coverage your insurer has the responsibility to investigate your UM/UIM claim, determine fault, and pay what its investigation determines you are entitled to within a reasonable time. This is what you are paying premiums for.
3. If you are eventually able to recover from the uninsured/underinsured motorist or underinsured driver your company gets paid back from the proceeds you receive.
4 The early payment from your own company is what most people use to get their doctor bills off their back and pay living expenses if necessary if they must litigate against the other driver.
5. This will be totally reversed if SB 1016 becomes law. Your insurance company will have no responsibility to cover your expenses until you litigate your claim against the other driver. Effectively negating the coverage you paid for upfront with your own insurance company.
6. Instead of paying upfront and getting its money back if you are able to recover later, your insurance company will keep your money and only pay after you have fought it out with the other driver.
7. This reverses the law that has been on the books since uninsured/underinsured motorist/underinsured coverage was created in Oklahoma.
I would respectfully request that you vote NO on SB-1016.