20-259.01. Motor vehicle liability policy; uninsured optional; underinsured optional; subrogation; medical payments liens; definitions

A. Every insurer writing automobile liability or motor vehicle liability policies shall make available to the named insured thereunder and by written notice offer the insured and at the request of the insured shall include within the policy uninsured motorist coverage that extends to and covers all persons insured under the policy, in limits not less than the liability limits for bodily injury or death contained within the policy. The selection of limits or rejection of coverage by a named insured or applicant on a form approved by the director is valid for all insureds under the policy. An insurance producer that uses such a form in offering uninsured motorist coverage and confirming the selection of limits or rejection of coverage by a named insured or applicant satisfies the insurance producer's standard of care in offering and explaining the nature and applicability of uninsured motorist coverage. A named insured's selection of limits or rejection of uninsured motorist coverage on a form approved by the director constitutes the final expression of the named insured's decision to purchase or reject uninsured motorist coverage. The completion of such form is not required where the insured purchases such coverage in an amount equal to the limits for bodily injury or death contained in the policy.  The offer need not be made in the event of the reinstatement of a lapsed policy or the transfer, substitution, modification or renewal of an existing policy. At the request of the insured, the insured may purchase and the insurer shall then include within the policy uninsured motorist coverage that extends to and covers all persons insured under the policy in any amount up to the liability limits for bodily injury or death contained within the policy but not less than the limits prescribed in section 28-4009.

B. Every insurer writing automobile liability or motor vehicle liability policies shall also make available to the named insured thereunder and shall by written notice offer the insured and at the request of the insured shall include within the policy underinsured motorist coverage that extends to and covers all persons insured under the policy, in limits not less than the liability limits for bodily injury or death contained within the policy. The selection of limits or rejection of coverage by a named insured or applicant on a form approved by the director shall be valid for all insureds under the policy. An insurance producer that uses such a form in offering underinsured motorist coverage and confirming the selection of limits or rejection of coverage by a named insured or applicant satisfies the insurance producer's standard of care in offering and explaining the nature and applicability of underinsured motorist coverage. A named insured's selection of limits or rejection of underinsured motorist coverage on a form approved by the director constitutes the final expression of the named insured's decision to purchase or reject underinsured motorist coverage. The completion of such form is not required where the insured purchases such coverage in an amount equal to the limits for bodily injury or death contained in the policy. The offer need not be made in the event of the reinstatement of a lapsed policy or the transfer, substitution, modification or renewal of an existing policy. At the request of the insured, the insured may purchase and the insurer shall then include within the policy underinsured motorist coverage that extends to and covers all persons insured under the policy in any amount authorized by the insured up to the liability limits for bodily injury or death contained within the policy.

C. Any insurer writing automobile liability or motor vehicle liability policies may make available the coverages required by subsections A and B of this section to owners and operators of motor vehicles that are used as public or livery conveyances or rented to others or that are used in the business primarily to transport property or equipment. Subsections A and B of this section do not preclude an insurer writing automobile liability or motor vehicle liability policies in this state from requiring that all motor vehicles that are owned by or registered to the named insured and that are insured by the same insurer or group of insurers under a common management have the same limits of coverage for uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage in amounts as selected or rejected by the named insured.

D. "Uninsured motor vehicles", subject to the terms and conditions of that coverage, includes any insured motor vehicle if the liability insurer of the vehicle is unable to make payment on the liability of its insured, within the limits of the coverage, because of insolvency.

E. "Uninsured motorist coverage", subject to the terms and conditions of that coverage, means coverage for damages due to bodily injury or death if the motor vehicle that caused the bodily injury or death is not insured by a motor vehicle liability policy that contains at least the limits prescribed in section 28-4009. For the purposes of uninsured motorist coverage, an uninsured motorist does not include a person who is insured under a motor vehicle liability policy that complies with section 28-4009.

F. Any payment made under the bodily injury liability portion of a motor vehicle liability policy insuring the motor vehicle that caused the bodily injury or death in an amount equal to or less than the per person or per occurrence bodily injury limits of that policy, regardless of the number of persons receiving payments, precludes any payment under the uninsured motorist coverage based on the fault of the person who is insured under the motor vehicle liability policy.

G. "Underinsured motorist coverage" includes coverage for a person if the sum of the limits of liability under all bodily injury or death liability bonds and liability insurance policies applicable at the time of the accident is less than the total damages for bodily injury or death resulting from the accident. To the extent that the total damages exceed the total applicable liability limits, the underinsured motorist coverage provided in subsection B of this section is applicable to the difference.

H. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverages are separate and distinct and apply to different accident situations. Underinsured motorist coverage shall not provide coverage for a claim against an uninsured motorist in addition to any applicable uninsured motorist coverage. If multiple policies or coverages purchased by one insured on different vehicles apply to an accident or claim, the insurer may limit the coverage so that only one policy or coverage, selected by the insured, shall be applicable to any one accident. If the policy does not contain a statement that informs the insured of the insured's right to select one policy or coverage as required by this subsection, within thirty days after the insurer receives notice of an accident, the insurer shall notify the insured in writing of the insured's right to select one policy or coverage. For the purposes of this subsection, "insurer" includes every insurer within a group of insurers under a common management.

I. Insurers that make payments for damages to insureds for uninsured motorist coverage may subrogate and sue for reimbursement of the total amount of the payments in the name of the insured against any uninsured motorist responsible for the damages to the insured.

J. Any automobile liability or motor vehicle liability insurer that makes a payment under the medical payments coverage of a motor vehicle insurance policy to or on behalf of any insured for an injury that arises out of an accident that occurs after December 31, 1998 may have a lien against any amount in excess of five thousand dollars that is paid to or on behalf of that insured under the medical payments coverage of the policy for that accident. The insurer shall compromise the lien in a fair and equitable manner. In order to perfect a lien granted pursuant to this subsection, within sixty days after issuing a payment that is more than five thousand dollars to the insured under medical payments coverage, the insurer or the insurer's authorized representative shall record in the office of the recorder of the county in which the accident occurred a written statement that sets forth the name and address of the insured as they appear in the records of the insurer, the name and address of the insurer at the insurer's principal office in this state, the amount claimed pursuant to this subsection and, to the best of the insurer's knowledge, the names and addresses of all persons, firms and corporations and their insurance carriers that the insured or the insured's legal representative alleges are liable for damages arising from the accident. Within five days after recording the lien, the insurer shall also mail a copy of the lien, postage prepaid, to the insured and to each person, firm and corporation and their insurance carriers alleged to be liable for damages at the address given in the statement. The recording of the lien is notice of the lien to all persons, firms and corporations that are liable for damages regardless of whether they are named in the lien. The recorder shall endorse on the lien recorded pursuant to this subsection the date and hour of receipt and all facts that are necessary to indicate that the lien has been recorded. The lien may be amended to reflect payments to the insured made after the lien is recorded. Within thirty days after the lien is satisfied, the lienholder shall issue and record a release of the lien.

K. Any common law prohibition against assignments of causes of action for personal injuries is abrogated to the extent provided in subsection I of this section.

L. An insurer is not required to offer, provide or make available coverage conforming to this section in connection with any general commercial liability policy, excess policy, umbrella policy or other policy that does not provide primary motor vehicle insurance for liabilities arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of a specifically insured motor vehicle.

M. If an insured makes a bodily injury or death claim under uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage based on an accident that involved an unidentified motor vehicle and no physical contact with the motor vehicle occurred, the insured shall provide corroboration that the unidentified motor vehicle caused the accident. For the purposes of this subsection, "corroboration" means any additional and confirming testimony, fact or evidence that strengthens and adds weight or credibility to the insured's representation of the accident.