Bill to change workers’ compensation car insurance requirements still in the works


A special legislative session is on ongoing to see if changes can be made to Tennessee workers’ compensation car insurance requirements and if these changes can be made effective immediately.

Bill to change workers' compensation car insurance requirements still in the worksThe bill is sponsored by Sen. Bill Ketron of Murfreesboro and House Republican Leader Jason Mumpower of Bristol. The change is set to mandate workers’ compensation coverage for self-regulating and private contractors that were formerly exempt. Larger private companies say the bill is essential to create equity and fairness the playing field. On the other hand, smaller firms argue that the cost of workers’ compensation auto insurance requirement would be damaging to their business operation amid the current economic circumstances.

According to reports, there has been a legislative appeal made to change the compensation requirements of Tennessee employees when it comes to auto insurance qualification. While a number of supporters for this change have publicly expressed their opinion regarding the issue, Gov. Phil Bredesen said that the pending change can only take effect if there is going to be a consensus among Tennessee lawmakers.

Reports say that for the consensus to happen, majority of the legislators must agree on the compensation requirement modification bill. Experts say that a consensus may take time before it can happen after Republican House Speaker Kent Williams of Elizabethton said that he and a number of lawmakers see no universal agreement on whether an advance meeting will be made to discuss the issue during legislative session for December and January. Experts fear that if no advance meetings will take place, chances of having a consensus will be slimmer. William also said that many members of the legislation still feel that they do not have all the important facts regarding the impact of the bill after it has been enacted.

Industry insiders say that the issue at hand it not really about changing employee’s compensation car insurance requirement, but really on which legislator has more clout to delay the sessions. According to reports, Gov. Bredesen claims that he doesn’t feel the need to have a strong stand on the issue of whether to delay or change the law. Bredesen said to reporters in the middle budget hearings at the Capitol that he has no problems with the issue, and his primary point is that if there is a need to solve things by next year as opposed to solving it during the beginning of the session, he has no problems with it either as long he is notified properly and at the right time.

At this point, auto insurance consumers in Tennessee are still waiting for the lawmakers’ decision.