Motor Vehicles

Section 264:18

    264:18 Required Provisions. –
A motor vehicle liability policy, except as to coverage providing protection against uninsured motor vehicles required by RSA 264:14 shall be subject, within limits of liability required by this chapter, to the following provisions which need not be contained therein:
I. Absolute Liability. The liability of any company under a motor vehicle liability policy shall become absolute whenever loss or damage covered by said policy occurs, and the satisfaction by the insured of a final judgment for such loss or damage shall not be a condition precedent to the right or duty of the company to make payment on account of said loss or damage. No agreement between the company and the insured after the insured has incurred liability for loss or damage covered by the policy shall operate to defeat the company's liability to pay for such loss or damage. Upon the recovery of a final judgment against any person for any loss or damage specified in this section, if the judgment debtor was, at the accrual of the cause of action, protected against liability therefor under a motor vehicle liability policy, the judgment creditor shall be entitled to have the insurance money applied to the satisfaction of the judgment.
II. Entirety of Contract. The policy, the written application therefor, if any, and any rider or endorsement, which shall not conflict with the provisions of this chapter, shall with the provisions of this section and any other applicable statutes constitute the entire contract between the parties.
III. Minimum Limits of Mandatory Coverage. Subject to the minimum limits of liability under the authority of RSA 259:61, the policy is to be interpreted consistent with this section and the liability of the company under the policy shall thereby become absolute upon the occurrence of such an accident; no statement made by the insured or on his behalf, and no violation of exclusions, conditions, other terms, or language contained in the policy, and no unauthorized or unlawful use of the vehicle except as provided in paragraph VI of this section, whether or not a premium charge has been made and paid, shall operate to defeat or avoid the policy so as to bar recovery for such accidents within minimum limits of liability.
IV. Death, Insolvency, and Bankruptcy. If the death, insolvency, or bankruptcy of the insured shall occur within the policy period, the policy during the unexpired portion of such period shall cover the person or persons entitled to possession of the vehicle of the insured. Such policy shall contain such provisions, not inconsistent with this chapter, as shall be required by the insurance commissioner.
V. Defendant Default. In an action of tort where payment of the judgment is secured by a motor vehicle liability policy, as defined in RSA 259:61, and where the defendant has been defaulted for failure to enter an appearance, damages shall not be assessed, except by special order of the court, until the expiration of 30 days after the plaintiff has given notice of such default to the company issuing or executing such policy and has filed an affidavit thereof. Such notice may be given by mailing the same, postage prepaid, to the said company or to its agent who issued or executed such policy. Upon receipt of information and having become satisfied that the insured has failed to comply with the terms of his policy in regard to notice to the company of an accident, the director shall revoke his license and registration for such period as the director shall determine.
VI. Permissive Users. The insurance applies to any person who has obtained possession or control of the vehicle of the insured with his express or implied consent even though the use in the course of which liability to pay damages arises has been expressly or impliedly forbidden by the insured or is otherwise unauthorized. This provision, however, shall not apply to the use of a vehicle converted with the intent to wrongfully deprive the owner of his property therein.
VII. Bifurcation of Bodily Injury and Property Damage Claims. No liability insurer shall require that a bodily injury claim be settled or adjudicated as a condition precedent to the settlement of a property damage claim arising out of the same accident. No evidence of settlement of a property damage claim shall be admissible as evidence of liability in the trial of any other cause of action arising out of the same accident.

Source. 1937, 161:17. 1941, 198:1. RL 122:16. RSA 268:16. 1955, 94:4. 1957, 305:9. 1971, 263:1. 1981, 146:1. 1983, 431:16, eff. Aug. 23, 1983. 2021, 50:1, eff. July 24, 2021.