ATTENTION: Nevada liability departments and auto insurance carriers! Nevada Senate Bill No. 435 was recently signed into law and there are two key points to be aware of: Disclosure of Policy Limits Demand and Voiding Releases. These both deal with pre-litigation situations.
1) Nevada law now requires a motor vehicle insurer to disclose the limits of the policy if the claimant provides a HIPAA authorization which allows the carrier to “receive all medical reports, records and bills related to the claim from the providers of health care.” This is a change from the previous Nevada statute which required the disclosure of policy limits only after litigation was commenced.
However, it appears from the language of the statute that there are limits to this new mandate. Section 4 of the new law is written in such a way to allow the argument that the new law applies only to accidents that occurred after 10/1/19, and that the insurance company has to request the HIPAA waiver from the claimant in order for the disclosure requirement to apply.
The plaintiff’s bar is already attempting to address this language in the legislature. As written, subsection (4) is governed by subsection (1) which states that the insurance company “may require the claimant … to provide … a written authorization.” The following subparts all appear to be triggered only by the act of the insurance company requesting a HIPAA waiver. The plaintiff’s bar is pushing for clarifying language that would make it clear that once the claimant sent a HIPAA waiver, irrespective of whether the document was requested by the insurance company or not, the insurance company is required to disclose policy limits. This is not how the law reads on its face, and the change would make a significant difference from a practical perspective.