West Virginia's legislature just passed a law requiring insurance companies for negligent drivers to disclose their liability policy limits to the injured person before a lawsuit is filed. Similar legislation has been proposed to the Iowa Legislature but never passed.
This law, which has now been adopted in 12 states, makes sense for Iowa as well as other states. Essential law often will avoid the needless filing of a lawsuit involving very serious injuries and medical expenses when the negligent driver's liability insurance limits are very low. In those cases, a demand for the insurance policy limits likely will be paid without the need to file a lawsuit. In addition, it will allow an injured party and his or her attorney to determine whether to bring an underinsured motorist claim against the injured persons own insurance company. The law likely will simplify and speed up the process of resolving claims, for the benefit of both the injured party and insurance companies. The Iowa Legislature should take another look at this issue.