Ill. Senate Bill Restricts Coverage Denials for License-less Drivers

Senators in Illinois passed a bill last week barring insurance companies that advertise policies that do not require valid driver’s licenses from denying coverage to applicants solely for that reason.

A state synopsis of the proposal calls the practice of advertising to consumers that they can get insurance without a license and then denying them coverage for lacking a valid license an “unfair method of competition” and a “deceptive act.”

The Illinois chapter of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors lent its support to the proposal as it was passed out of Senate committee hearings in May and House committee hearings in February.

Representatives in the state House passed the legislation by a 66-44 vote on March 30. Senators passed the bill by a 45-9 vote on May 25. The proposal is currently in the state House, where representatives will consider amendments made by senators.

The original version of the legislation changed the state’s motor vehicle codes so that insurers are barred from denying coverage to a motorist solely because that motorist lacks a valid driver’s license, as long as he or she is identified as an unlicensed driver during the application process. A Senate amendment eliminated that portion of the proposal but left provisions about advertising and promotion of license-less coverage intact.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Maria Antonia Berrios (D-Chicago), who did not respond to requests for comment on the bill’s purpose.

About Charles Nguyen
Charles Nguyen is an enterprising journalist who reported for Patch.com and the Desert Dispatch and was the editor in chief of the Guardian (the twice-weekly newspaper at the University of California, San Diego) before coming to Online Auto Insurance News.

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