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NEW LAW WILL BRING BOOST IN AUTO INSURANCE RATES

Automobile insurance premiums in Utah will increase for all insured drivers because the Legislature passed HB14, according to John Ware, legislative committee chairman for the Professional Insurance Agents of Utah.

"This bill not only affects the residual market (drivers considered higher risks by insurance companies), it also will impact insurance premiums of all insured drivers," he said.The increase in premiums is due to an increase in mandated liability limits from $20,000/$40,000 to $25,000/$50,000 for bodily injury and from $10,000 to $15,000 for property damage. Ware said the residual insurance market will receive premium increases of 25 percent.

Ken Osborne, a director of IIAU, said the public has been complaining about automobile insurance premium increases and "we want the public to understand that this increase is being mandated by the Legislature and not by the insurance industry."

HB14 also will require that underinsured motorist coverage be offered to consumers to help counteract the effects of being injured by someone with inadequate liability limits, Osborne said. He is afraid the increase is insurance premiums will result in more people driving without insurance.

"We support, even applaud, the concept of adequate liability limits for all drivers; however, the Legislature should place more emphasis on enforcing Utah's financial responsibility laws, thereby reducing the number of uninsured motorists," Osborne said.