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Few States Pass Nearly Half of New P/C Insurance Laws in NAMIC Analysis

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 9, 2005)––Four states accounted for one quarter of the changes to key property/casualty state insurance laws last year, according to a survey by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC). Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Virginia enacted 72 of the 281 property/casualty statutes enacted in 44 states during legislative sessions held in 2004.

When enactments in Arizona, Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island are considered, a total of nine states produced almost half of all the new property/casualty laws last year. And, continuing a trend identified in its 2004 analysis, NAMIC says that more than one-fifth, 59, of 2004’s property/casualty laws relate to the regulation of motor vehicle insurance.

“Twenty-seven states approved 59 new motor vehicle insurance laws, the majority of which pertain directly to DUI, seatbelt or child safety standards, and proof of insurance requirements,” said NAMIC State Affairs Information Manager Ken Marshall. “This trend is clearly in line with our new law findings from recent years.

States approving motor vehicle related insurance legislation include: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.”

Fifteen percent of the new laws pertain to workers’ compensation. Twenty-three states enacted 40 new laws, the majority addressing specific benefit or claims eligibility or the role and authority of the state workers’ compensation regulator, or provide comprehensive technical and substantive revisions to a state’s workers’ compensation statutes.

Laws concerned with tort reform were the third largest category of new law. Twenty-one statutes were enacted in 16 states.

New laws regulating motor vehicle insurance, workers’ compensation, and tort reform accounted for 43% of all new measures.

The next largest categories of new laws dealt with financial regulation, rate regulation, guaranty funds, use of loss history reports (C.L.U.E.), the role or authority of the state insurance regulator, and premium taxes.

Several laws enacted last year advanced NAMIC’s national state legislative agenda. Rate modernization laws were enacted in Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina and South Dakota. Iowa adopted language similar to the NCOIL model protecting the use of underwriting tools (credit-based insurance scoring). Laws protecting the use of loss history reports (C.L.U.E.) were enacted in Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming. Mississippi, Ohio, and Pennsylvania enacted asbestos litigation reform. Connecticut enacted legislation carving out a terrorism exception to the Standard Fire Policy.

“NAMIC will work with our state trade association partners to advance our legislative agendas during the rest of 2005, ” Marshall said.

Individual state summaries (including bill summaries, categorical reference, effective dates, chapter references, and full text links) can be found on the State Legislative and Regulatory Resources page of NAMIC Online.

Posted: Wednesday, February 09, 2005 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Thursday, September 08, 2005 4:01:09 PM.

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