Auto policy limits, rebate and residency bills advance in N.H. Legislature

April 21, 2021

The deadline for the New Hampshire Legislature to act on bills introduced this session was April 9, 2021—and some of the bills were left behind in limbo. This means they can be amended onto another bill later this year, or they can be re-introduced in the 2022 legislative session. But, there also were a number of bills that moved forward.  

The state House had a marathon session last week, which lasted three days. The House passed H.B.1 and H.B.2—the budget bills—which are now with the Senate Finance Committee.  

As the Legislature enters the second half of the session, PIANH is monitoring a few bills, including:

  • H.B.450—sponsored by state House Labor Committee Chair Rep. Willian Infantine, R-13—would change the auto policy limits from $25,000 to $50,000 for injury to or death of any one person; from $50,000 to $100,000 for an accident that results in the injury or death of more than one person; and from at least $25,000 to $50,000 for damage to property of others.  The committee recommended the bill inexpedient to legislate, and since the state House did not address it, the bill has stalled.
  • H.B.518—also sponsored by Infantine—would allow producers to rebate all or a portion of their commission to their employees for their employees’ policies. The state House passed the bill last week and it has been forwarded to the Senate Commerce Committee for consideration.  
  • S.B.36—sponsored by Sen. Harold F. French, R-7—would remove the requirement for auto coverage applicants to sign statements of residency. This bill passed the state Senate 23-1 on Feb. 4, 2021, and was forwarded to the House Commerce Committee in March. The House Commerce Committee will vote on the bill as early as next week. PIA Lobbyist Bruce Berke testified against this bill, indicating that the 18-year-old law stops people from misrepresenting where they reside in order to obtain lower insurance rates, which is insurance fraud.

The second half of the session will bring renewed focus on legislation, since there are fewer bills on which the state Legislature needs to act.  The budget bills will be the most prevalent as a result of the two-year budget and the continued partisanship in Concord, but PIANH continues to monitor and advocate for the aforementioned bills.  You can track these and other bills with the PIAdvocacy bill tracker.

Simon P. Thomson
Sheehan Phinney Capitol Group

Simon P. Thomson joined Sheehan Phinney Capitol Group in 2015 after serving for 10 years as a staff member for two New Hampshire U.S. Senators, John E. Sununu and Kelly Ayotte. He is PIANH’s lobbyist. During Simon’s tenure as a Senate staffer, he worked on many in-state issues, which led to him develop meaningful relationships throughout the state and in state government that now provide his clients with a deep network to address concerns. Since joining the firm, Simon has been involved in many key legislative issues at the State House. With his experience in public service, commitment to his clients, and the respect he has built on both sides of the aisle, Simon has become a go-to advocate who has served Capitol Group’s clients well. Currently, he serves on the board of directors of the Greater Nashua YMCA and he was installed as an incorporator with Franklin Savings Bank.

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