Many individuals involved in car, trucking, or bicycle accidents wonder how much insurance the at-fault driver(s) carried at the time of the crash and whether the insurance is sufficient to cover their injuries and damages. Fortunately, there’s a way to find out.
On January 1, 2020, the Colorado legislature passed a law requiring auto and commercial insurers disclose the policy and available benefits to the third-party claimant within 30 days of receiving notice. See C.R.S. § 10-3-1117. If the insurance company fails to comply with the disclosure requirements, the statute provides a civil remedy – the insurer may be fined $100 per day beginning on the 31st day following the request, as well as attorney fees and costs incurred by the claimant in enforcing the penalty.
The legislative history shows that Colorado enacted C.R.S. § 10-3-1117 to encourage settlements and avoid deceptive practices and litigation through the transparent flow of information between insurers and injured claimants. The legislature made its objective clear by stating the following:
“It is in the best interests of the citizens of this state to have transparency in the insurance claims process to further the public policy of encouraging settlement and preventing unnecessary litigation. Claimants and injured parties should fully understand the total amount of insurance coverage available to them. In addition, because payment of uninsured and underinsured motorist benefits covers the difference between the amount of the limits of any legal liability coverage and the amount of the damages sustained, it is important that the citizens of this state have accurate and reliable information about the amount of legal liability coverage available for a claim. Providing information to Colorado residents will:
- help Colorado residents evaluate whether their uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage will be triggered; and
- allow an insurer who provides uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage or policies more time to evaluate and place reserves on claims.”
C.R.S. § 10-3-1101(2).
This statute is an excellent tool for claimants attempting to understand the limits of insurance coverage covering their claims. Feel free to reach out to Hailey | Hart if you have questions about how to discover insurance coverage under this statute.