Senate OKs umbrella waiver bill

Insurance companies will have to get it in writing if a customer waives umbrella coverage for uninsured motorists – otherwise the customer will be automatically covered – under a measure approved by the state Senate on Thursday.

Senate Bill 38, sponsored by Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, steams from insurers’ denial of coverage to one of the senator’s constituents based on an “oral waiver” of the policy — a waiver that the customer disputed, said D’Allesandro. Without a paper trail, the constituent couldn’t disprove that she waived the coverage, he said.

His measure “will require a paper trail in place to protect consumers,” said D’Allesandro.

In other Senate business on Thursday, a bill to study how seasonal employers – like bus companies and construction companies — are using unemployment benefits to keep workers without having to pay them. SB 59 would scrutinize such “negative balance” employers to see if there are ways to prevent them from abusing the system.

The Senate also passed SB 43, greatly reducing the number of hours barbers need to get a license and practice their trade. Those who meet the current standards would be called “master barbers.” – BOB SANDERS

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