INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 3, 2005)––North Dakota’s House Committee on Industry, Business and Labor (IBL) approved legislation to modernize rate and rate filing standards by an 11–2 vote, Tuesday.
“NAMIC applauds Chairman George Keiser, Representative Jim Kasper, and the members of the House IBL committee for their thoughtful consideration and ultimate approval of this important proposal,” said NAMIC Central Region State Affairs Manager Joe Thesing.
“We hope that Speaker Matthew Klein and the members of the House of Representatives will follow the committee’s recommendation and quickly approve HB 1329,” Thesing added.
The proposal calls for the elimination of prior approval of rate and rate filing standards for fire, property, casualty and commercial lines of insurance. If enacted, HB 1329 would require a file-and-use system for personal lines until 2007, followed by a permanent transition to a use-and-file system. The bill would eliminate rate-filing requirements for commercial lines and would empower the insurance commissioner to determine that a reasonable degree of competition does not exist within a market and provides authority to impose prior approval standards on that market.
“Commissioner Jim Poolman and his staff deserve credit for approving rate filings in a timely manner. However, passage of rate modernization legislation such as HB 1329, would ensure speedy delivery of insurance products regardless of who serves as insurance commissioner. Furthermore, passage of this legislation would send a strong message to Congress that states can improve and modernize the state system,” Thesing concluded.
During the past two years, nine states have adopted some form of regulatory modernization. In 2003, modernizing legislation was adopted in Nebraska (commercial lines), New Hampshire (commercial lines), New Jersey (auto) and Louisiana (personal lines). In 2004, modernizing legislation was adopted in Massachusetts (commercial), Oklahoma (personal lines), Rhode Island (personal lines), South Carolina (homeowners) and South Dakota (personal and commercial lines).