The Maryland Senate has passed House Bill 425 and the Maryland House of Delegates today also passed the bill, which puts a new requirement of good faith for insurance companies dealing with their insureds. The bill now heads to Governor O’Malley for his signature. The Governor has previously pledged support for the bill.
This issue has been a reoccurring topic on the Maryland Personal Injury Lawyer Blog. See this post, that post, and this post. My partner, Laura G. Zois, testified before the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates about three weeks ago on this very issue. I know that after the bill passed the Maryland Senate, there were a lot of lobbying efforts from the insurance companies to keep it from passing in the House of Delegates. They pushed the vote back, and I began to doubt whether Maryland would join most states that already have first-party bad faith. I’m thrilled the Maryland Assembly put the interest of Maryland injury victims and consumers ahead of the insurance company and their lobbyists.
This is a huge win for victims and their attorneys who are fighting to get injury victims a fair recovery for their injuries and the benefits of the insurance contract for which they are paying premiums.
2013 Update: Who is kidding who? This was not a win at all. I don’t know what we were are thinking. This bill is toothless.