2002 No Action
2001 No Action
2000 No Action
1998 No Action
1995 No Action
June 26, 2002
TO THE HONORABLE, THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES:
In accordance with the provisions of Rhode Island Gen. Laws §43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 2002- H 6725, "An Act Relating To Liability Insurance - Rental Vehicles."
This bill would mandate that the liability portion of auto insurance policies cover all damage and loss of use to rented passenger vehicles for an unlimited period of time. It would also mandate such insurance for all pickup trucks, vans, and any rented truck so long as it had a registered gross weight of less than 26,000 pounds.
This bill is strongly opposed by the Governor's Insurance Council and the car insurance industry on the ground that it would increase the cost of private passenger automobile insurance for all Rhode Islanders.
The bill would do so by eliminating the present forty-five (45) day maximum rental period for property damage coverage to rental vehicles contained in R.I. Gen. Laws § 27-8-1(9) and replacing it with no limitation. The bill's mandated coverage for vehicles up to 26,000 pounds would also change existing policies, which usually cover private passenger autos, vans and pickup rental vehicles up to 10,000 pounds. The new limit could include trucks up to forty (40) feet.
Rhode Island is already unique in its extension of property damage coverage to rental vehicles under the liability portion of the insured's private passenger policy. These two mandatory changes in policy coverage are unnecessary. They will have the effect of spreading the risk for physical damage to a rental motor vehicle among all automobile insurance consumers rather than only those consumers who actually utilize large rental vehicles or any rental vehicle for periods in excess of 45 days (most likely a very small group with a potential significant risk exposure). If this bill became law, the overwhelming majority of automobile insurance consumers would pay higher premiums without any additional benefit.
For the forgoing reasons, I disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.