Codification of UIM Stack-and-Compare Rule Passes Senate

June 26, 2024   |   Chris Nichols

Update: Gov. Cooper signed this bill into law on Wednesday, July 3.

Senate Bill S319 passed the Senate unanimously Monday, June 24, and will now go to the governor.

The bill establishes a UIM stack-and-compare rule for North Carolina drivers and codifies the definition of underinsured vehicle consistent with years’ worth of practice and precedent in North Carolina. The act takes effect as soon as the bill becomes law. The amendment also grants the N.C. Rate Bureau and insurance companies an additional six months to make administrative adjustments needed to implement the changes required by SL 2023-133, passed last year with NCAJ’s support.

Expedited Change to UIM Definition

  • Addresses the current definition of Underinsured Vehicle
  • Firmly establishes the UIM stack-and compare rule
  • Implements the necessary UIM revisions immediately, effective when it becomes law and applying to all claims pending on or arising after that date

Extension of Insurance Implementation Deadline to July 1, 2025

  • Verifies that UIM must be offered in all personal automobile policies, including the upcoming $50k/$100k/$50k “minimum limits” policies as well as all policies issued by the Facility to ceded high risk drivers. 
  • Provides insurance companies with six additional months to make these comprehensive adjustments.
  • Removes discrepancies in language regarding making UIM mandatory which were inadvertently left unchanged by the initial legislation.
  • Postpones the implementation deadline from January 2025 to July 2025 as requested by the North Carolina Rate Bureau to facilitate necessary adjustments within the insurance industry.

S319 involves technical changes to SL 2023-133, which raised the minimum coverage limits to $50k/$100k/$50k, eliminated the UIM credit for liability payments, required medical providers claiming liens to provide medical records within 60 days of request, and fixed the service of process/statute of limitations issues for serving a UM complaint.

A true spirit of collaboration between NCAJ, the insurance companies and the Rate Bureau guided the process involved in the passage of S319, and the NCAJ legislative team appreciates everyone’s cooperation and support. NCAJ is grateful that the North Carolina legislature has acted to protect the citizens of the state with modernized insurance policy limits.