Utah Admin. Code R590-190-11 - Standards for Prompt, Fair, and Equitable Settlement for Automobile Insurance

(1) If an automobile insurance policy provides for an adjustment and settlement of a total loss for a first party claimant based on actual cash value or replacement with another automobile of like kind and quality, one of the methods in this Subsection (1) shall apply.
(a)
(i) An insurer may offer a replacement automobile that is comparable to the insured's automobile, with all applicable taxes, license fees, and transfer of ownership fees paid, at no cost, less any deductible provided in the policy; and
(ii) an offer and any rejection shall be documented in the claim file.
(b)
(i) An insurer may offer a cash settlement based on the actual cost, less any deductible provided in the policy, to purchase a comparable automobile, including all applicable taxes, license fees, and transfer of ownership fees of a comparable automobile for a cost determined in this Subsection (1)(b)(i).
(A) The cost of at least two comparable automobiles in the local market area, if an automobile was available within the last 90 days to consumers in the local market area.
(B) The cost of at least two comparable automobiles in areas proximate to the local market area, including the closest major metropolitan area in or out of the state, that were available within the last 90 days to consumers, if comparable automobiles are not available in the local market area.
(C) At least two quotes from at least two qualified dealers located within the local market area, if a comparable automobile is not available in the local market area.
(D) Any source to determine a statistically valid fair market value that meets the following criteria:
(I) the source gives primary consideration to the value of vehicles in the local market area and may consider data on vehicles outside the area;
(II) the source produces value for at least 85% of the makes and models for the last 15 model years, taking into account the value of all major options for such vehicles; and
(III) the source produces fair market value based on current data available from the area surrounding the location where the insured vehicle was principally garaged or a necessary expansion of the parameters, such as time and area, to assure statistical validity.
(ii) An insurer shall reopen its claim file and comply with the following procedures upon notice that a first party claimant cannot purchase a comparable vehicle at market value within 30 days of receiving a cash settlement payment under this Subsection (1)(b); and
(A) locate a comparable vehicle by the same manufacturer, same year, similar body style, and similar options and price range for an insured for the market value determined by the insurer at the time of settlement available through a licensed dealer or private seller;
(B) either:
(I) pay the difference between market value before applicable deductions and the cost of the comparable vehicle of like kind and quality that the insured has located; or
(II) negotiate and effectuate the purchase of the vehicle for the insured;
(C) elect to offer a replacement under Subsection (1)(a); or
(D) conclude the loss settlement under the appraisal section of the policy in force at the time of the loss.
(iii) An insurer is not required to take action under Subsection (1)(b)(ii) 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 that could be purchased for the market value determined by the insurer before applicable deductions.
(c) If a first party claimant automobile total loss is settled on a basis that deviates from the methods described in Subsection (1)(a) or (1)(b), the deviation shall be supported by documentation giving particulars of the automobile condition.
(i) Any deduction from the cost, including a deduction for salvage, shall be measurable, itemized, and specified as to dollar amount and shall be reasonable in amount.
(ii) The basis for the settlement shall be fully explained to the first party claimant.
(2)
(a) A total loss settlement with a third party claimant shall be based on the market value or actual cost of a comparable automobile at the time of loss.
(b) Except for Subsection (1)(b)(ii), settlement procedures shall comply with Subsection (1)(b).
(3) Where liability and damages are reasonably clear, an insurer is prohibited from recommending that a third party claimant make a claim under the third party claimant's own policy solely to avoid paying a claim under the insurer's policy.
(4) An insurer is prohibited from requiring a claimant to travel an unreasonable distance to inspect a replacement automobile, to obtain a repair estimate, or to have an automobile repaired at a specific repair shop.
(5)
(a) An insurer shall include a first party claimant's deductible, if any, in a subrogation demand initiated by an insurer.
(b) A subrogation recovery may be shared on a proportionate basis with a first party claimant if an agreement is reached for less than the full amount of the loss, unless the deductible amount has been otherwise recovered.
(c) A subrogation recovery shall be applied first to reimburse a first party claimant for the amount or share of the deductible if the full amount or share of the deductible has been recovered.
(d)
(i) A deduction for expenses may not be made from the deductible recovery unless an outside attorney is retained to collect the recovery.
(ii) If taken, a deduction shall be a pro rata share of the allocated loss adjustment expense.
(e) If subrogation is initiated but discontinued, the insured shall be advised.
(6)
(a) If an insurer prepares or approves an estimate for automobile repairs, the estimated cost shall reasonably be expected to repair the damage to the automobile.
(b) If an insurer prepares an estimate, it shall give a copy of the estimate to the claimant and may provide the claimant the names of one or more conveniently located repair shops.
(7) If the amount claimed is reduced due to betterment or depreciation, all information for the reduction shall be contained in the claim file.
(a) The deduction shall be itemized with specificity as to dollar amount and shall be reasonable.
(b) The insurer shall provide a written explanation of the deductions to the claimant upon request.
(8) If an insurer elects to repair an automobile and designates a specific repair shop for the repairs, the insurer shall cause the damaged automobile to be restored to its condition before the loss at no additional cost to the claimant other than as stated in the policy and within a reasonable period.
(9)
(a) If coverage exists, payment shall be made to a claimant for:
(i) reasonably incurred cost of transportation; or
(ii) reasonably incurred rental cost of a substitute vehicle, including collision damage waiver, unless the claimant has physical damage coverage available.
(b) A payment under Subsection (9)(a) shall be made for:
(i) the period the automobile is necessarily withdrawn from service to obtain parts or effect repair; or
(ii) if the automobile is a total loss and the claim has been timely made, the period from the date of loss until a reasonable settlement offer has been made by the insurer.
(c) An insurer may not refuse to pay for loss of use for the period that an insurer is examining the claim or making other determinations as to the validity of the loss, unless the delay reveals that an insurer is not liable to pay the claim.
(d) A loss of use payment shall be an amount in addition to a payment for the value of an automobile.
(10) An insurer shall fairly, equitably, and in good faith attempt to compensate a first party claimant for all losses covered by the policy based on the following standards:
(a) an offer of settlement may not be based solely on the useful life of the damaged part or vehicle;
(b) an estimate of the amount of compensation for a claimant shall include the actual wear and tear, or lack thereof, of the damaged part or vehicle;
(c) actual cash value shall consider the cost of replacement of the part or vehicle for which compensation is claimed;
(d) an actual estimate of the true useful life remaining in the part or vehicle shall be considered in establishing the amount of compensation of a claim; and
(e) actual cash value shall include taxes and other fees incurred by a claimant in replacing the part or vehicle or in compensating the claimant for the loss incurred.
(11) An insurer may not demand reimbursement of a personal injury protection payment from a first party claimant from a settlement or judgment against a third party, except as provided by law.
(12)
(a) An insurer shall provide reasonable written notice to a claimant before termination of payment for automobile storage charges and claim documentation of the denial.
(b) An insurer shall provide a reasonable time for the claimant to remove the vehicle from storage before terminating a payment.

Notes

Utah Admin. Code R590-190-11
Adopted by Utah State Bulletin Number 2024-03, effective 1/24/2024

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