What is the operative trigger for the statute – the date of the accident or the date of the request?
Do insurers even have to respond to requests for fleet insurance information?
The second question has to do with a fleet policy. Fleet policies are exempt from the statute, but the question is, must an automobile insurance company at least respond to the compliant request? In my view, an automobile insurance company cannot ignore a compliant request along these lines, but it should respond to the plaintiff’s lawyer, enclosing a copy of the statute if need be, and politely decline to provide the coverage because it is exempt from the statute’s requirements. In other words, I would favor at least a reply to the request and would urge insurance companies not to simply ignore the request. For instance, the statute requires an insurer to reply to a non-compliant request and advise as to the deficiencies of the request. Don’t just ignore!
I suppose that either of these items above-mentioned can be taken to a ridiculous conclusion. For instance, a compliant request might be made for an accident on which the statute of limitations has expired. Though a plaintiff’s lawyer might be prohibited from filing suit, nevertheless, there is no provision in the act that allows the insurance company NOT to respond to a compliant request. My suggestion would be to send a reply, explain that the statute of limitations has expired and provide the information anyway. A response is what the statute, taken to its absolute logical [or perhaps, illogical] conclusion, requires.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.