Utah Admin. Code R590-190-11 - Standards for Prompt, Fair and Equitable Settlements Applicable to Automobile Insurance
(1) When the insurance policy provides for the adjustments and settlement of automobile total losses for first party claimants on the basis of actual cash value or replacement with another of like kind and quality, one of the following methods must apply:
(a) the insurer may elect to offer a replacement automobile which is a specific comparable automobile available to the insured, with all applicable taxes, license fees and other fees incident to transfer of evidence of ownership of the automobile paid, at no cost other than any deductible provided in the policy. The offer and any rejection thereof must be documented in the claim file;
(b) the insurer may elect a cash settlement based upon the actual cost, less any deductible provided in the policy, to purchase a comparable automobile including all applicable taxes, license fees and other fees incident to transfer of evidence of ownership of a comparable automobile. Such cost may be determined by using:
(i) the cost of two or more comparable automobiles in the local market area when a comparable automobile is available or was available within the last 90-days to consumers in the local market area;
(ii) the cost of two or more comparable automobiles in areas proximate to the local market area, including the closest major metropolitan areas within or without the state, that are available or were available within the last 90-days to consumers when comparable automobiles are not available in the local market area pursuant to Subsection R590-190-11.(1)(b)(i);
(iii) one of two or more quotations obtained by the insurer from two or more qualified dealers located within the local market area when a comparable automobile is not available in the local market area; or
(iv) any source of determining statistically valid fair market values that meet all of the following criteria:
(A) the source shall give primary consideration to the values of vehicles in the local market area and may consider data on vehicles outside the area;
(B) the source's database shall produce values for at least 85% of the makes and models for the last 15 model years, taking into account the values of all major options for such vehicles; and
(C) the source shall produce fair market values based on current data available from the area surrounding the location where the insured vehicle was principally garaged or a necessary expansion of parameters, such as time and area, to assure statistical validity.
(v) if the insurer is notified within 30-days of the receipt of the claim draft that the first party claimant cannot purchase a comparable vehicle for such market value, the company shall reopen its claim file and the following procedure(s) shall apply:
(A) the company may locate a comparable vehicle by the same manufacturer, same year, similar body style and similar options and price range for the insured for the market value determined by the company at the time of settlement. Any such vehicle must be available through licensed dealers or private sellers;
(B) the company shall either pay the difference between market value before applicable deductions and the cost of the comparable vehicle of like kind and quality which the insured has located, or negotiate and effect the purchase of this vehicle for the insured;
(C) the company may elect to offer a replacement in accordance with the provisions set forth in Subsection R590-190-11.(1)(a); or
(D) the company may conclude the loss settlement as provided for under the appraisal section of the insurance contract in force at the time of the loss. The company is not required to take action under this subsection if its documentation to the first party claimant, at the time of settlement, included written notification of the availability and location of a specified and comparable vehicle of the same manufacturer, same year, similar body style and similar options in as good or better condition as the total loss vehicle which could be purchased for the market value determined by the company before applicable deductions.
(c) when a first party claimant automobile total loss is settled on a basis which deviates from the methods described in Subsections R590-190-11.(1)(a) and (b), the deviation must be supported by documentation giving particulars of the automobile condition. Any deductions from such cost, including deductions for salvage, must be measurable, itemized and specified as to dollar amount and shall be appropriate in amount. The basis for such settlement shall be fully explained to the first party claimant.
(2) Total loss settlements with a third party claimant shall be on the basis of the market value or actual cost of a comparable automobile at the time of loss. Settlement procedures shall be in accordance with Subsection R590-190-11.(1)(b) and (c), except (b)(v) shall not apply.
(3) Where liability and damages are reasonably clear, insurers are prohibited from recommending that third party claimants make a claim under their own policies solely to avoid paying claims under such insurer's insurance policy or insurance contract.
(4) Insurers are prohibited from requiring a claimant to travel an unreasonable distance to inspect a replacement automobile, to obtain a repair estimate or to have the automobile repaired at a specific repair shop.
(5) Insurers shall include the first party claimant's deductible, if any, in subrogation demands initiated by the insurer. Subrogation recoveries may be shared on a proportionate basis with the first party claimant when an agreement is reached for less than the full amount of the loss, unless the deductible amount has been otherwise recovered. The recovery shall be applied first to reimburse the first party claimant for the amount or share of the deductible when the full amount or share of the deductible has been recovered. No deduction for expenses can be made from the deductible recovery unless an outside attorney is retained to collect such recovery. The deduction may then be for only a pro rata share of the allocated loss adjustment expense. If subrogation is initiated but discontinued, the insured shall be advised.
(6) If an insurer prepares or approves an estimate of the cost of automobile repairs, such estimate shall be in an amount for which it may be reasonably expected the damage can be satisfactorily repaired. If the insurer prepares an estimate, it shall give a copy of the estimate to the claimant and may furnish to the claimant the names of one or more conveniently located repair shops.
(7) When the amount claimed is reduced because of betterment or depreciation, all information for such reduction shall be contained in the claim file. Such deductions shall be itemized and specified as to dollar amount and shall be appropriate for the amount of deductions. The insurer shall provide a written explanation of these deductions to the claimant upon request.
(8) When the insurer elects to repair and designates a specific repair shop for automobile repairs, the insurer shall cause the damaged automobile to be restored to its condition prior to the loss at no additional cost to the claimant other than as stated in the policy and within a reasonable period of time.
(9) Where coverage exists, loss of use payment shall be made to a claimant for the reasonably incurred cost of transportation, or for the reasonably incurred rental cost of a substitute vehicle, including collision damage waiver, unless the claimant has physical damage coverage available, during the period the automobile is necessarily withdrawn from service to obtain parts or effect repair, or, in the event the automobile is a total loss and the claim has been timely made, during the period from the date of loss until a reasonable settlement offer has been made by the insurer. The insurer is prohibited from refusing to pay for loss of use for the period that the insurer is examining the claim or making other determinations as to the payability of the loss, unless such delay reveals that the insurer is not liable to pay the claim. Loss of use payments shall be an amount in addition to the payment for the value of the automobile.
(10) Subject to Subsections R590-190-11.(1) and (2), an insurer shall fairly, equitably and in good faith attempt to compensate a claimant for all losses incurred under collision or comprehensive coverages. Such compensation shall be based at least, but not exclusively, upon the following standards:
(a) an offer of settlement may not be made exclusively on the basis of useful life of the part or vehicle damaged;
(b) an estimate of the amount of compensation for the claimant shall include the actual wear and tear, or lack thereof, of the damaged part or vehicle;
(c) actual cash value, which shall take into account the cost of replacement of the vehicle and/or the part for which compensation is claimed;
(d) an actual estimate of the true useful life remaining in the part or vehicle shall be taken into account in establishing the amount of compensation of a claim; and
(e) actual cash value, which shall include taxes and other fees which shall be incurred by a claimant in replacing the part or vehicle or in compensating the claimant for the loss incurred.
(11) Insurers are prohibited from demanding reimbursement of personal injury protection payments from a first-party insured of payments received by that party from a settlement or judgement against a third party, except as provided by law.
(12) The insurer shall provide reasonable written notice to a claimant prior to termination of payment for automobile storage charges and documentation of the denial as required by Section R590-190-4. Such insurer shall provide reasonable time for the claimant to remove the vehicle from storage prior to the termination of payment.
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