INDIANAPOLIS (May 10, 2005)—Legislation enacted by the North Dakota legislature will have “a fundamental and immediate impact” on how insurers conduct business in the state, according to a spokesman from the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).
“While approving measures that will be a definite benefit to consumers and insurers, the legislature also enacted an initiative that would seem to make more difficult the task of accurately setting rates,” stated NAMIC State Affairs Manager Joe Thesing.
Among the key developments during the 76-day session, which ended April 23, were proposals to restrict an insurers’ use of loss-history reports and to create a terrorism exclusion to the state’s Standard Fire Policy (SFP).
SB 2186 restricts the use of loss-history reports in personal insurance. Gov. John Hoeven signed the bill into law on April 22 and it will become effective on August 1 of this year. The legislation will prohibit insurers from surcharging, canceling, nonrenewing or declining coverage for personal insurance under the following circumstances:
“The industry worked hard with the Department of Insurance to come to agreement on the loss-history bill. We appreciate their interest in crafting an alternative; however, in the end we were unable to support the bill because of its restrictions on the use of loss-history reports,” Thesing stated.
Thesing praised Commissioner Jim Poolman for his support of SB 2094 which creates a terrorism exclusion in the state’s Standard Fire Policy (SFP). “Passage of the terrorism exclusion addresses coverage issues the SFP created for insurers in the age of terrorism,” he said, noting that of the 28 states that have SFP language in their statutes, 12 have adopted the exclusion.
Other enactments important to insurers according to NAMIC include SB 2200 mandating that information contained on motor vehicle event data recorders may not be retrieved by any person other that the registered owner. The event data recorders or “black boxes,” are computer chips that store information on such things as speed and seat belt use. The bill will require automobile manufacturers to disclose by model year 2007 the presence, capacity and capabilities of these recorders. Persons other than the registered owner will only be able to retrieve the data under limited circumstances such as service and repair or under a court order. At least seven other state legislatures are currently debating this issue.
In other enactments of note:
For further information, contact
Rick Nelson, APR (Indianapolis, Ind.)
Founded in 1895, NAMIC is a full-service national trade association with more than 1,400 member companies that underwrite 43 percent ($196 billion) of the property/casualty insurance premium in the United States. NAMIC members account for 44 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the automobile market, 39 percent of the workers’ compensation market, and 31 percent of the commercial property and liability market. NAMIC benefits member companies through advocacy, public policy and member services. Information about the association, its member companies and the property/casualty insurance industry can be found at NAMIC Online. www.namic.org.