TITLE 31
Motor and Other vehicles

CHAPTER 31-47
Motor Vehicle Reparations Act

SECTION 31-47-2


§ 31-47-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter the term:

(1) "Accident" or "Motor vehicle accident" means any accident involving a motor vehicle that results in bodily injury to, or death of, any person, or damage to the property of any person in excess of five hundred dollars ($500).

(2) "Administrator " means the administrator of the division of motor vehicles in the department of revenue.

(3) "Commissioner" means the insurance commissioner of this state.

(4) "Dealer engaged in the business of leasing motor vehicles" means any person engaged in the business of regularly making available, offering to make available, or arranging for another person to use a motor vehicle pursuant to a bailment, lease, or other contractual arrangement.

(5) "Driver" means every person who drives, or is in actual physical control of, a motor vehicle.

(6) "Financial security bond" means for each motor vehicle a bond executed by the owner and by a surety company duly authorized to transact business in this state.

(7) "Financial security deposit" means for each motor vehicle the deposit with the assistant director of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) in cash or securities, such as may legally be purchased by savings banks or trust funds, of a market value of seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000).

(8) "License" includes any license, permit, or privilege to operate a motor vehicle issued under the laws of this state including:

(i) Any temporary instruction permit or examiner's driving permit;

(ii) The privilege of any person to drive a motor vehicle whether or not the person holds a valid license; or

(iii) Any nonresident's operating privilege.

(9) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle required to display registration plates for operation upon public highways of this state.

(10) "Nonresident" means every person who is not a resident of this state.

(11) "Nonresident's operating privilege" means the privilege conferred upon a nonresident by the laws of this state pertaining to the operation by that person of a motor vehicle, or the use of a motor vehicle owned by that person, in this state.

(12) "Owner" means a person who holds the legal title of a motor vehicle. If a motor vehicle is the subject of an agreement for conditional sale or lease with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee, the vendee or lessee is the owner. If a mortgagor of a motor vehicle is entitled to possession, the mortgagor is the owner.

(13)(i) "Owner's policy of liability insurance" means a policy:

(A) Affording coverage as defined in the minimum provisions prescribed in a regulation that shall be promulgated by the commissioner. The commissioner, before promulgating the regulations or any amendments to them, shall consult with all insurers licensed to write automobile liability insurance in this state and shall not prescribe minimum provisions that fail to reflect the provisions of automobile liability insurance policies issued within this state at the date of the regulation or amendment of it. Nothing contained in regulation or in this chapter shall prohibit any insurer from affording coverage under an owner's policy of liability insurance more liberal than that required by the minimum provisions. Every owner's policy of liability insurance shall provide insurance subject to the regulation against loss from the liability imposed by law for damages, including damages for care and loss of services, because of bodily injury to, or death of, any person and injury to, or destruction of, property arising out of the ownership, maintenance, use, or operation of a specific motor vehicle or motor vehicles within the state of Rhode Island or elsewhere in the United States, in North America, or the Dominion of Canada, subject to a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, with respect to each motor vehicle of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of bodily injury to, or death of, one person in any one accident; and subject to the limit for one person, to a limit of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), because of bodily injury to, or death of, two (2) or more persons in any one accident; and a limit of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) because of injury to, or destruction of, property of others in any one accident; or seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000) combined, single limit. Any insurer authorized to issue an owner's policy of liability insurance as provided for in this chapter may, pending the issue of the policy, make an agreement to be known as a binder, or may, in lieu of the policy, issue a renewal endorsement or evidence of renewal of an existing policy, each of which shall be construed to provide indemnity or protection in like manner and to the same extent as the policy. The provisions of this chapter shall apply to such binders, renewal endorsements, or evidences of renewal; and

(B) In the case of a vehicle registered in this state, a policy issued by an insurer duly authorized to transact business in this state; or

(C) In the case of a vehicle registered in another state in the name of a nonresident, either a policy issued by an authorized insurer, or a policy issued by an unauthorized insurer authorized to transact business in the state of the nonresident's residence if the unauthorized insurer files with the commissioner, in a form to be approved by him or her, a statement consenting to service of process and declaring its policies shall be deemed to be varied to comply with the requirements of this chapter; and

(D) The form of which has been approved by the commissioner.

(ii) No such policy shall be issued or delivered in this state until a copy of the form of the policy shall have been on file with the commissioner for at least thirty (30) days, unless sooner approved in writing by the commissioner, nor, if within that period of thirty (30) days, the commissioner shall have notified the carrier in writing that in the commissioner's opinion specifying the reasons for it, the form of the policy does not comply with the laws of the state.

(14) "Person" includes every natural person, firm, partnership, association, or corporation.

(15) "Proof of financial security" means proof of ability to respond in damages for liability arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle as evidenced by an owner's policy of liability insurance, a financial security bond, a financial security deposit, or qualification as a self-insurer under this title, or in the case of a nonresident, under self-insurance provisions of the laws of the jurisdiction of that nonresident. Proof of financial security may be produced in either paper or electronic format. Acceptable electronic formats include display of documentation on any mobile electronic device.

(16) "Registration" means registration certificates and registration plates issued under the laws of this state pertaining to the registration of motor vehicles.

(17) "Self insurer" means a person who shall have been determined by the department of business regulation, in accordance with this title, to be financially responsible.

(18) "State", when used in this chapter, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise, means any state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any province of the Dominion of Canada.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1991, ch. 167, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 109, § 46; P.L. 2008, ch. 98, § 29; P.L. 2008, ch. 145, § 29; P.L. 2014, ch. 29, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 36, § 3; P.L. 2014, ch. 44, § 1; P.L. 2014, ch. 51, § 1.)