It is very easy to become jaded during the legislative session, bills seem to come out of left field that appear to be geared towards one special interest group – quite possibly at the expense of the public.
So it is refreshing when you come across a bill such as SB 11 – Cancellation of Auto Insurance Coverage from Senator Wayne Harper (Republican – Taylorsville) reminds us that representatives really do represent the needs of the people.
On first blush, SB 11 seems like a big of an odd duck. Harper is attempting to create a law that would prevent auto insurance companies from making automatic charges from an individual’s account, even after a person canceled their policy. Along the same lines, Harper is looking to prevent auto insurance companies from restarting a canceled policy without the named insurer giving consent. Finally, Harper wants to punish auto insurance companies with a $2,500 fine each time they engage in these activities.
[pullquote]It is easy to forget that lawmakers really do represent the people. SB 11 from Senator Wayne Harper is an example of just that.[/pullquote]Now, at this point you are probably asking yourself “wait, isn’t that already illegal?” After all, it certainly feels like it should be.
Turns out that, no, there is nothing on the books that makes these types of activities illegal, as Harper explains to Utah Political Capitol:
“[A constituent had] an automobile insurance policy, ended it to go with a different carrier, [and at the same time] ended their auto-payment from their checking account and started paying the new insurance company. Two months later (after cancellation) the former insurance company restarted the auto payment from their checking account, stopped it after the constituent called, and then a couple months later restarted the auto payment for the cancelled policy.”
No doubt the constituent is able to seek some sort of retribution from the insurance in civil court, but that is a long and drawn out process that may end up costing the victim even more in legal fees.
If successful, will the newly created law be used all that often? No (at least we hope no), but it will be on the books, protecting consumers. Why? Because Harper listened to a constituent.
The system does still work.
To contact Senator Harper, click here or call 801-556-5466 (Home).
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