Bill limiting Holt demands clears committee
4:22 pm, February 21st, 2013
The House Judiciary Committee today approved a bill regulating Holt demands and bad faith claims in personal injury and wrongful death cases related to motor vehicles.
House Bill 336 would give insurers at least 30 days to respond to a settlement offer before a bad faith claim could be brought against them. It would require that all settlement offers contain the specific time period in which the offers must be accepted, the amount of payment, the parties the claimants would release, the type of release and the claims to be released.
The bill also would allow insurers to request clarification on the facts of the case, including term limits, liens, subrogation and standing to release claims, and medical bills and records, without the insurers’ requests constituting a counteroffer.
Besides being limited only to motor vehicle cases, the bill is limited to regulating offers of settlement submitted prior to the filing of a lawsuit.
HB 336, sponsored by Rep. Jay Powell, R-Camilla, is the result of negotiations among a secret group of lawyers from both plaintiffs’ and insurance defense practices commissioned before the session started in January by the speaker of the House.
The Georgia Legislature considered similar legislation last session, including House Bill 1175, which would have allowed an insurer 60 days to respond to a settlement offer and required offers to include copies of medical records and billing statements.
Judiciary Committee approval means HB 336 will go to the House Rules Committee, which will decide when it comes up for a vote by the full chamber.