Thursday, 23 June 2011 16:02

Bill Aimed at Providing Cheaper Auto Insurance for Low-Income Families Dies in Nevada Senate

A bill to reduce the required auto insurance coverage for low-income families in Clark County has quietly died in the Nevada Senate as of May 31, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

“The Republicans didn’t have an appetite for it,” said Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, the sponsor of Assembly Bill 299, according to the Las Vegas Sun. “We’ll fight another day.”

The Senate Commerce, Labor and Energy Committee approved the bill on a 4-3 vote, but it never came up for a vote in the full Senate before the May 31 deadline.

The bill would have allowed a household to qualify with a gross annual income at or below 250 percent of the federally designated poverty level.

The current law requires minimum coverage of $15,000, or $30,000 for two or more individuals for death and injury. It requires $10,000 in coverage for property damage.

The low-cost policy would have provided death or injury coverage of $10,000 per person or $20,000 for two or more individuals. It would have set property damage coverage at $3,000.

The proposed policy would have only covered vehicles valued at $20,000 or less.

Atkinson said the state Insurance Division didn’t know how many people would be eligible in the pilot program, which would have started in Clark County, according to the Las Vegas Sun.

This uncertainty coupled with State Farm Insurance Company’s announcement that premiums would likely only be reduced by about $50, although the company took no formal standpoint on the bill, led to the bill’s demise.

To finance the program, 50 cents would have been added to every private car insurance policy in the state.

That would have required a two-thirds vote on the bill in the Senate and Atkinson said he wasn’t able to muster up the three Republican votes he would have needed.

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