SENATE, No. 1094

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

216th LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED JANUARY 30, 2014

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  ANTHONY R. BUCCO

District 25 (Morris and Somerset)

Senator  JEFF VAN DREW

District 1 (Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Clarifies insurance coverage for certain home and health care agency employees under their own private passenger automobile insurance.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning certain private passenger automobile insurance coverage, supplementing and amending P.L.1972, c.70, and amending R.S.48:16-13.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    (New section)  a.  An insurer shall not refuse to issue, cancel, or non-renew a policy of private passenger automobile insurance that provides or will provide coverage pursuant to P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.), or refuse to pay a claim under a policy issued pursuant to P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.), solely on the basis that a named insured or other person covered under the policy is an employee of a home health care agency that is licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) or an employee of an agency or organization participating in the Home Care Expansion Program established by the “Home Care Expansion Act,” P.L.1988, c.92 (C.30:4E-5 et seq.) and:

     (1)   who drives an automobile covered under the policy to transport the recipient of the agency’s or organization’s services for activities attendant to the needed services provided to the recipient; or

     (2)   who, while driving a covered automobile to transport the recipient of the agency’s or organization’s services for activities attendant to the needed services provided to the recipient, is involved in an accident.

     b.    Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the use of underwriting guidelines, risk classifications, or other rules of any rating-system, as defined by section 1 of P.L.1944, c.27 (C.17:29A-1), which establish rates and premiums for private passenger automobile insurance coverage on the basis of the driving activities of an employee of a home health care agency, or home care agency or organization as described in subsection a. of this section.

 

     2.    Section 2 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-2) is amended to read as follows:

     2.    As used in this act:

     a.    "Automobile" means a private passenger automobile of a private passenger or station wagon type that is owned or hired and is neither used as a public or livery conveyance for passengers, nor as a limousine or livery service as defined in R.S.48:16-13, nor rented to others with a driver; and a motor vehicle with a pickup body, a delivery sedan, a van, or a panel truck or a camper type vehicle used for recreational purposes owned by an individual or by husband and wife who are residents of the same household, not customarily used in the occupation, profession or business of the insured other than farming or ranching.  An automobile owned by a farm family copartnership or corporation, which is principally garaged on a farm or ranch and otherwise meets the definitions contained in this section, shall be considered a private passenger automobile owned by two or more relatives resident in the same household.

     b.    "Essential services" means those services performed not for income which are ordinarily performed by an individual for the care and maintenance of such individual's family or family household.

     c.    "Income" means salary, wages, tips, commissions, fees and other earnings derived from work or employment.

     d.    "Income producer" means a person who, at the time of the accident causing personal injury or death, was in an occupational status, earning or producing income.

     e.    "Medical expenses" means reasonable and necessary expenses for treatment or services as provided by the policy, including medical, surgical, rehabilitative and diagnostic services and hospital expenses, provided by a health care provider licensed or certified by the State or by another state or nation, and reasonable and necessary expenses for ambulance services or other transportation, medication and other services as may be provided for, and subject to such limitations as provided for, in the policy, as approved by the commissioner.  "Medical expenses" shall also include any nonmedical remedial treatment rendered in accordance with a recognized religious method of healing.

     f.     "Hospital expenses" means the cost of treatment and services, as provided in the policy approved by the commissioner, by a licensed and accredited acute care facility which engages primarily in providing diagnosis, treatment and care of sick and injured persons on an inpatient or outpatient basis; the cost of covered treatment and services provided by an extended care facility which provides room and board and skilled nursing care 24 hours a day and which is recognized by the administrators of the federal Medicare program as an extended care facility; and the cost of covered services at an ambulatory surgical facility supervised by a physician licensed in this State or in another jurisdiction and recognized by the Commissioner of Health [and Senior Services], or any other facility licensed, certified or recognized by the Commissioner of Health [and Senior Services] or the Commissioner of Human Services or a nationally recognized system such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or by another jurisdiction in which it is located.

     g.    "Named insured" means the person or persons identified as the insured in the policy and, if an individual, his or her spouse, if the spouse is named as a resident of the same household, except that if the spouse ceases to be a resident of the household of the named insured, coverage shall be extended to the spouse for the full term of any policy period in effect at the time of the cessation of residency.

     h.    "Pedestrian" means any person who is not occupying, entering into, or alighting from a vehicle propelled by other than muscular power and designed primarily for use on highways, rails and tracks.

     i.     "Noneconomic loss" means pain, suffering and inconvenience.

     j.     "Motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined in R.S.39:1-1, exclusive of an automobile as defined in subsection a. of this section.

     k.    "Economic loss" means uncompensated loss of income or property, or other uncompensated expenses, including, but not limited to, medical expenses.

     l.     "Health care provider" or "provider" means those persons licensed or certified to perform health care treatment or services compensable as medical expenses and shall include, but not be limited to, (1) a hospital or health care facility which is maintained by a state or any of its political subdivisions, (2) a hospital or health care facility licensed by the Department of Health [and Senior Services], (3) other hospitals or health care facilities designated by the Department of Health [and Senior Services]to provide health care services, or other facilities, including facilities for radiology and diagnostic testing, freestanding emergency clinics or offices, and private treatment centers, (4) a nonprofit voluntary visiting nurse organization providing health care services other than in a hospital, (5) hospitals or other health care facilities or treatment centers located in other states or nations, (6) physicians licensed to practice medicine and surgery, (7) licensed chiropractors, (8) licensed dentists, (9) licensed optometrists, (10) licensed pharmacists, (11) licensed podiatrists, (12) registered bio-analytical laboratories, (13) licensed psychologists, (14) licensed physical therapists, [(16)] (15) certified nurse-midwives, [(17)] (16) certified nurse-practitioners/clinical nurse-specialists, [(18)](17) licensed health maintenance organizations, [(19)] (18) licensed orthotists and prosthetists, [(20)] (19) licensed professional nurses, and [(21)] (20) providers of other health care services or supplies, including durable medical goods.

     m.   "Medically necessary" means that the treatment is consistent with the symptoms or diagnosis, and treatment of the injury (1) is not primarily for the convenience of the injured person or provider, (2) is the most appropriate standard or level of service which is in accordance with standards of good practice and standard professional treatment protocols, as such protocols may be recognized or designated by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health [and Senior Services]or with a professional licensing or certifying board in the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, or by a nationally recognized professional organization, and (3) does not involve unnecessary diagnostic testing.

     n.    "Standard automobile insurance policy" means an automobile insurance policy with at least the coverage required pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-3 and 39:6A-4).

     o.    "Basic automobile insurance policy" means an automobile insurance policy pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.39:6A-3.1).

(cf: P.L.2005, c.259, s.35)

 

     3.    R.S.48:16-13 is amended to read as follows:

     48:16-13.  Except as provided in section 2 of P.L.1997, c.356 (C.48:16-13.1), as used in this article:

     "Autocab" means a limousine.

     "Chief Administrator" means the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

     "Commission" means the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission established by section 4 of P.L.2003, c.13 (C.39:2A-4).

     "Limousine" means and includes any automobile or motor car used in the business of carrying passengers for hire to provide prearranged passenger transportation at a premium fare on a dedicated, nonscheduled, charter basis that is not conducted on a regular route and with a seating capacity of no more than 14 passengers, not including the driver, provided, that such a vehicle is certified by the manufacturer of the original vehicle and the second-stage manufacturer, if applicable, to conform to all applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards promulgated by the United States Department of Transportation pursuant to 49 CFR Part 571 (49 CFR 571.1 et seq.) and 49 CFR Part 567 (49 CFR 567.1 et seq.).  In addition, a "Vehicle Emission Control Information" label, which contains the name and trademark of the manufacturer and an unconditional statement of compliance with the emission requirements of the Environmental Protection Agency, shall be present on the vehicle.  Nothing in this article contained shall be construed to include taxicabs, hotel buses, buses employed solely in transporting school children or teachers, vehicles owned and operated directly or indirectly by businesses engaged in the practice of mortuary science when those vehicles are used exclusively for providing transportation related to the provision of funeral services, autobuses which are subject to the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation, or interstate autobuses required by federal or State law or regulations of the Department of Transportation to carry insurance against loss from liability imposed by law on account of bodily injury or death.

     "Limousine or livery service" means and includes the business of carrying passengers for hire by limousines, but does not mean or include any private passenger automobile owned by an individual who is an employee of a home health care agency that is licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) or an employee of an agency or organization participating in the Home Care Expansion Program established by the “Home Care Expansion Act,” P.L.1988, c.92 (C.30:4E-5 et seq.), when the automobile is driven by the individual to transport the recipient of the agency’s or organization’s services for activities attendant to the needed services provided to the recipient.

     "Person" means and includes any individual, copartnership, association, corporation or joint stock company, their lessees, trustees or receivers appointed by any court whatsoever.

     "Principal place of business" means, in reference to a municipality, the location of the main place of business of the limousine service in the municipality where limousine service is conducted, where limousines are dispatched, or where limousine drivers report for duty.

     "Street" means and includes any street, avenue, park, parkway, highway, or other public place.

(cf:  P.L.2009, c.325, s.2)

 

     4.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the third month next following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill clarifies that automobile insurance coverage for employees of a home health care agency that is licensed pursuant to P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-1 et seq.) or an agency or organization participating in the Home Care Expansion Program established by the “Home Care Expansion Act,” P.L.1988, c.92 (C.30:4E-5 et seq.), who drive their own automobile to transport recipients of an agency’s or organization’s services for activities attendant to the needed services provided to the recipients, shall be provided under the employees’ own private passenger automobile insurance.  It does so by indicating, in the relevant private passenger automobile and livery statutes, that such driving activities are not any form of autocab, limousine, or livery service, and thus are under the scope of private passenger automobile insurance coverage.

     Further, the bill provides that a licensed private passenger automobile insurer shall not refuse to issue, cancel, or non-renew a policy, or refuse to pay a claim under such a policy, solely on the basis that a named insured or any other covered insured is an employee of a home health care agency, or home care agency or organization and:

     (1)   who drives a covered automobile to transport the recipient of the agency’s or organization’s services for activities attendant to the needed services provided to the recipient; or

     (2)   who, while driving a covered automobile to transport the recipient of the agency’s or organization’sservices for activities attendant to the needed services provided to the recipient, is involved in an accident.

     However, nothing in the bill shall be construed to prohibit the use of underwriting guidelines, risk classifications, or other rules of any rating-system, as defined by section 1 of P.L.1944, c.27 (C.17:29A-1), which establish rates and premiums for private passenger automobile insurance coverage on the basis of the driving activities of the employee.