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Colorado Accident & Injury Law Part II – Change In Med Pay Policies

March 10, 2009 by The Sawaya Law Firm

II. STATUTORY CHANGE REQUIRING OFFER OF $5,000 MED-PAY IN AUTO INSURANCE POLICIES: C.R.S. 10-4-635. (EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2009) This statute will apply only to accident after January 1, 2009.

  1. (a) Mandates that every auto insurer offer a minimum of $5,000, and the failure to do so will automatically make $5,000 available for med pay.
  2. Provides for priority of payment to first responders.
  3. (a) Specifically provides that an auto insurer shall have neither a claim for subrogation nor a right of direct action to repaid med pay amount paid under an auto insurance policy.
  • Discussion: The statute does not mandate that there be minimal med-pay coverage in every auto policy written in Colorado. It has allowed an easy out for the auto insurer who wishes to de-emphasize med pay. It should be expected that a substantial percentage of auto policies will be written with no med pay coverage by written waiver from the insured. The most impactful provision for the auto injury plaintiff attorney will be in the issue of subrogation and direct actions by auto insurance carriers to recover med-pay from the tortfeasor defendant. For those auto accident cases after January 1, 2009, this statute has removed a source of increasing contention and friction in the auto injury case.

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