Senator NIA H. GILL
District 34 (Essex and Passaic)
Clarifies that owners of self-driving motor vehicles must comply with existing insurance requirements
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
An Act concerning insurance for self-driving motor vehicles and amending P.L.1972, c.70 and P.L.1972, c.197.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. Section 2 of P.L.1972, c.70, (C.39:6A-2) is amended to read as follows:
2. As used in this act:
a. "Automobile" means a private passenger automobile of a private passenger or station wagon type that is owned or hired and is neither used as a public or livery conveyance for passengers nor rented to others with a driver; and a motor vehicle with a pickup body, a delivery sedan, a van, or a panel truck or a camper type vehicle used for recreational purposes owned by an individual or by husband and wife who are residents of the same household, not customarily used in the occupation, profession or business of the insured other than farming or ranching. An automobile owned by a farm family copartnership or corporation, which is principally garaged on a farm or ranch and otherwise meets the definitions contained in this section, shall be considered a private passenger automobile owned by two or more relatives resident in the same household. An automobile shall include a self-driving private passenger automobile that is capable of operating without active control or monitoring by a human operator.
b. "Essential services" means those services performed not for income which are ordinarily performed by an individual for the care and maintenance of such individual's family or family household.
c. "Income" means salary, wages, tips, commissions, fees and other earnings derived from work or employment.
d. "Income producer" means a person who, at the time of the accident causing personal injury or death, was in an occupational status, earning or producing income.
e. "Medical expenses" means reasonable and necessary expenses for treatment or services as provided by the policy, including medical, surgical, rehabilitative and diagnostic services and hospital expenses, provided by a health care provider licensed or certified by the State or by another state or nation, and reasonable and necessary expenses for ambulance services or other transportation, medication and other services as may be provided for, and subject to such limitations as provided for, in the policy, as approved by the commissioner. "Medical expenses" shall also include any nonmedical remedial treatment rendered in accordance with a recognized religious method of healing.
f. "Hospital expenses" means the cost of treatment and services, as provided in the policy approved by the commissioner, by a licensed and accredited acute care facility which engages primarily in providing diagnosis, treatment and care of sick and injured persons on an inpatient or outpatient basis; the cost of covered treatment and services provided by an extended care facility which provides room and board and skilled nursing care 24 hours a day and which is recognized by the administrators of the federal Medicare program as an extended care facility; and the cost of covered services at an ambulatory surgical facility supervised by a physician licensed in this State or in another jurisdiction and recognized by the Commissioner of Health [and Senior Services], or any other facility licensed, certified or recognized by the Commissioner of Health [and Senior Services] or the Commissioner of Human Services or a nationally recognized system such as the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, or by another jurisdiction in which it is located.
g. "Named insured" means the person or persons identified as the insured in the policy and, if an individual, his or her spouse, if the spouse is named as a resident of the same household, except that if the spouse ceases to be a resident of the household of the named insured, coverage shall be extended to the spouse for the full term of any policy period in effect at the time of the cessation of residency.
h. "Pedestrian" means any person who is not occupying, entering into, or alighting from a vehicle propelled by other than muscular power and designed primarily for use on highways, rails and tracks.
i. "Noneconomic loss" means pain, suffering and inconvenience.
j. "Motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle as defined in R.S.39:1-1, exclusive of an automobile as defined in subsection a. of this section.
k. "Economic loss" means uncompensated loss of income or property, or other uncompensated expenses, including, but not limited to, medical expenses.
l. "Health care provider" or "provider" means those persons licensed or certified to perform health care treatment or services compensable as medical expenses and shall include, but not be limited to, (1) a hospital or health care facility which is maintained by a state or any of its political subdivisions, (2) a hospital or health care facility licensed by the Department of Health and Senior Services, (3) other hospitals or health care facilities designated by the Department of Health and Senior Services to provide health care services, or other facilities, including facilities for radiology and diagnostic testing, freestanding emergency clinics or offices, and private treatment centers, (4) a nonprofit voluntary visiting nurse organization providing health care services other than in a hospital, (5) hospitals or other health care facilities or treatment centers located in other states or nations, (6) physicians licensed to practice medicine and surgery, (7) licensed chiropractors, (8) licensed dentists, (9) licensed optometrists, (10) licensed pharmacists, (11) licensed podiatrists, (12) registered bio-analytical laboratories, (13) licensed psychologists, (14) licensed physical therapists, (16) certified nurse-midwives, (17) certified nurse-practitioners/clinical nurse-specialists, (18) licensed health maintenance organizations, (19) licensed orthotists and prosthetists, (20) licensed professional nurses, and (21) providers of other health care services or supplies, including durable medical goods.
m. "Medically necessary" means that the treatment is consistent with the symptoms or diagnosis, and treatment of the injury (1) is not primarily for the convenience of the injured person or provider, (2) is the most appropriate standard or level of service which is in accordance with standards of good practice and standard professional treatment protocols, as such protocols may be recognized or designated by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health [and Senior Services] or with a professional licensing or certifying board in the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety, or by a nationally recognized professional organization, and (3) does not involve unnecessary diagnostic testing.
n. "Standard automobile insurance policy" means an automobile insurance policy with at least the coverage required pursuant to sections 3 and 4 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-3 and 39:6A-4).
o. "Basic automobile insurance policy" means an automobile insurance policy pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.39:6A-3.1).
(cf: P.L.2005, c.259, s.35)
2. Section 1 of P.L.1972, c.197 (C.39:6B-1) is amended to read as follows:
1. a. Every owner or registered owner of a motor vehicle , including any self-driving motor vehicle that is capable of operating without active control or monitoring by a human operator, registered or principally garaged in this State shall maintain motor vehicle liability insurance coverage, under provisions approved by the Commissioner of Banking and Insurance, insuring against loss resulting from liability imposed by law for bodily injury, death and property damage sustained by any person arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation or use of a motor vehicle wherein such coverage shall be at least in: (1) an amount or limit of $15,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to, or death of, one person, in any one accident; and (2) an amount or limit, subject to such limit for any one person so injured or killed, of $30,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, on account of injury to or death of, more than one person, in any one accident; and (3) an amount or limit of $5,000.00, exclusive of interest and costs, for damage to property in any one accident.
b. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an owner or registered owner of an automobile, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-2), registered or primarily garaged in the State may satisfy the requirements of subsection a. of this section by maintaining a basic automobile insurance policy containing coverages provided pursuant to subsections a. and b. of section 4 of P.L.1998, c.21 (C.39:6A-3.1).
c. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection a. of this section, an owner or registered owner of an automobile, as defined in section 2 of P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-2), registered or primarily garaged in the State may satisfy the requirements of subsection a. of this section by maintaining a special automobile insurance policy containing coverages provided pursuant to subsection b. of section 45 of P.L.2003, c.89 (C.39:6A-3.3).
(cf: P.L.2003, c.89, s.60)
3. This act shall take effect immediately.
This bill clarifies that, for the purposes of insurance, a self-driving car must comply with compulsory automobile and motor vehicle insurance requirements.
Current law provides, with certain limited exceptions, that every owner or registered owner of a motor vehicle registered or principally garaged in this State shall maintain motor vehicle liability insurance coverage. This bill clarifies that this mandate includes self-driving motor vehicles that are capable of operating without active control or monitoring by a human operator.
Further, the "New Jersey Automobile Reparation Reform Act," P.L.1972, c.70 (C.39:6A-1 et seq.) created a system of “no-fault” insurance for private passenger automobiles. The bill amends the definition of “automobile” under that act to include a self-driving private passenger automobile that is capable of operating without active control or monitoring by a human operator. Therefore, the bill extends the requirements of the New Jersey Automobile Reparation Reform Act, including the requirement for owners and registrants to maintain liability insurance and the requirement that applicable insurance policies include personal injury protection benefits, to self-driving cars.