Delegate Tim Manchin, D-Marion, questioned whether those carrying minimum coverage tend to be high-risk drivers.
Rice said she did not have that answer, but added, "I know a lot of high-risk drivers fall into 20-40-10 (coverage) because that's the premium they can pay."
During the regular session, trial lawyers advocated for the higher minimums, noting that the current minimums have not increased since 1979, and are unrealistically low compared to present-day costs for medical care and for automobile repair or replacement.
Tuesday's agenda for the interim Judiciary committee studying the issue provided an opportunity for a response from a representative of the West Virginia Association for Justice, the state trial lawyers' organization. However, there was no response.
Senate Government Organization Chairman Herb Snyder, D-Jefferson, said he was surprised the insurance industry opposes increasing the mandatory minimum coverage.
"It would seem to me the industry would want to sell more insurance," he said. "My insurance companies, and I deal with several, always want me to have more coverage."
Reach Phil Kabler at ph...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1220.