CHAPTER 243

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 369

AS AMENDED BY SENATE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 39 OF TITLE 18 OF DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO CASUALTY INSURANCE CONTRACTS.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Section 3902, Title 18 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof a new Section 3902 which shall read as follows:

"§3902. Uninsured Vehicle Coverage; Insolvency of Insurer

(a) No policy insuring against liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of any motor vehicle shall be delivered or issued for delivery in this State with respect to any such vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State unless coverage is provided therein or supplemental thereto for the protection of persons insured thereunder who are legally entitled to recover damages from owners or operators of uninsured or hit and run vehicles for bodily injury, sickness, disease, including death, or personal property damage resulting from the ownership, maintenance or use of such uninsured or hit and run motor vehicle.

(I) No such coverage shall be required in or supplemental to a policy where rejected in writing on a form furnished by the insurer describing the coverage being rejected, by an insured named therein, or upon any renewal of such policy, unless the coverage is then- requested in writing by the named insured, the coverage herein required may be referred to as uninsured vehicle coverage.

(2) The amount of coverage to be so provided shall not be less than the minimum limits for bodily injury, death and property damage liability insurance provided for under the motorist financial responsibility laws of this State. The coverage for property damage shall be subject to a $250 deductible for property damage arising out of one accident, unless the insured and the insurer agree in writing to a different deductible. As used herein, the term "property damage" shall include the loss of use of a vehicle.

(3) For the purposes of this section an uninsured vehicle shall be defined as:

a. One for which there is no auto liability bond, insurance, or other security applicable at the time of the accident in at least the amounts required by the financial responsibility law where the auto is principally garaged.

b. One for which the insuring company denies coverage or becomes insolvent.

c. A hit and run motor vehicle that causes an accident resulting in bodily injury or proprety damage to property of the insured. Bodily injury or property damage must be caused by physical contact of the hit and run vehicle with the insured or with an insured motor vehicle, or by a non-contact vehicle where the identity of both the driver and the owner of such vehicle are unknown. The accident must be reported to the police or proper governmental authority. The insured must notify his insurer within 30 days, or as soon as practicable thereafter, that the insured or his legal representative has a legal action arising out of the accident.

(4) in the event of payment of any person under uninsured vehicle coverage and, subject to the terms of such coverage, to the extent of such payment, the insurer shall be entitled to the proceeds of any settlement recovery from any person legally responsible for the bodily injury or property damage as to which such payment was made and to amount recoverable from the assets of the insolvent insurer of the other vehicle; provided that this right of subrogation is limited to the amount of coverage required by the financial responsibility law.

(b) Every insurer shall offer to the Insured the option to purchase additional coverage for personal injury or death up to a limit of $300,000 but not to exceed the limits for personal injury set forth in the basic policy. Sueh additional insurance shall be underinsured coverage.

(1) Acceptance of such underinsured coverage shall operate to amend the policy's uninsured coverage to pay for bodily injury damage that the insured or his legal representative are legally entitled to recover from the driver of an underinsured motor vehicle.

(2) An underinsured motor vehicle is one for which there may be bodily injury liability coverage in effect, but the limits of bodily injury liability under all bonds and insurance policies applicable at the time of the accident total less than the limits provided by the underinsured motorist coverage. These limits shall be stated in the Declaration Sheet.

(3) The insurer shall not be obligated to make any payment under this coverage until after the limits of liability under all bodily injury bonds and insurance policies applicable at the time of the accident have been exhausted by payment of settlement or judgments.

(c) The affording of insurance under this section to more than one person or to more than one vehicle shall not operate to increase the limits of the insurers' liability. When two or more vehicles are Insured under one policy, the limits of liability shall apply separately to each vehicle as stated in the Declaration Sheet, but shall not exceed the highest limit of liability applicable to any one vehicle."

Section 2. Amend subsection 3903 (a), Title 18 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subsection (4) to read as follows%

"(4) 'Certified Mail' as used in this Chapter shall refer to either as used by the postal service.

a. Certified Mail.

b. Certified Mail, Return Receipt.

c. Certified Mailing List."

Section 3. Amend Section 3905, Title 18 of the Delaware Code by striking subsection (c) in its entirety and adding a new subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) The mailing of notice of cancellation, or of intention not to renew, to the named insured at his last address of record with the insurer, shall be by certified mail. This subsection shall not apply in case of non-payment of premium."

Section 4. This Act shall become effective 90 days after signature of the Governor.

Approved May 20, 1982.