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Missouri’s Governor has signed H.B. 345, amending Section 435.415 to protect companies that provide liability insurance from arbitration awards in proceedings that they do not consent to or participate in. Effective August 28, 2021, the new legislation adds subsections two and three to the statute. Section 2 reads as follows.

2. Any arbitration award for personal injury, bodily injury, or death or any judgment or decree entered on an arbitration award for personal injury, bodily injury, or death shall not be binding on any insurer, shall not be admissible in evidence in any lawsuit against any insurer for any party to an arbitration award, and shall not provide the basis for any judgment or decree, including any garnishment, against any insurer, unless the insurer has agreed in writing to the arbitration proceeding. Any arbitration award for personal injury, bodily injury, or death or any judgment or decree confirming, modifying, or correcting any arbitration award for personal injury, bodily injury, or death shall not be subject to garnishment, enforcement, or collection from any insurer unless the insurer has agreed in writing to the written arbitration agreement. Unless otherwise required by the insurance contract, an insurer’s election not to participate in an arbitration proceeding shall not constitute, not be construed to be, bad faith. This section shall not apply to any arbitration required by statute or arising out of an arbitration agreement preceding the date of the injury or loss which is the subject of the arbitration.

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