Insurance “interpleader” bill passes Senate with TIPAC amendment – a double win fo
HB 1531, sponsored by Rep. Bruce DeGroot (R-101, Chesterfield) passed the Missouri Senate last night with an amendment that added a cap on attorney fees for attorneys with state contracts.
The amendment, also known as Transparency In Private Attorney Contracts (TIPAC), limits private attorney fees when contracting with the state of Missouri based on the amount of recovery as follows:
15% of recovered amount less than $10 million;
10% of recovered amount between $10 million and $15 million;
5% of recovered amount between $15 million and $20 million; and,
2% of recovered amount exceeding $20 million.
TOTAL CAP ON FEES: $10 million
Associated Industries of Missouri (AIM) supports the substitute language adopted in HB 1531 as well as the amendment on TIPAC. AIM worked with insurers to arrive at language in the base bill that addresses a situation that had been exploited by plaintiffs attorneys when an accident/incident results in injuries to multiple claimants that, when combined, exceeds the policy limits maintained by the insured. The base bill allows the insurance company to deposit the full policy limits with the court and allows the court to decide using a legal “interpleader” action. The insurance company must continue to provide defense to their insured even though policy limits have been paid.
“We worked hard with the insurance companies to arrive at language that protects against plaintiff attorney exploitation of the system trying to hold insurance companies in bad faith when they have in fact done everything they are supposed to do, without affecting the rights of the insureds that purchase the insurance policies,” said Ray McCarty, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Missouri. “We wholeheartedly endorse the full bill and urge the House to take up the bill and pass it,” said McCarty.
The bill now moves to the House for consideration of the changes made by the Senate. If accepted by the House, the measure will move to the Governor’s desk for approval.