INDIANAPOLIS (May 1, 2007)— A successful session for the property/casualty insurance industry concluded on Sunday with significant wins for the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies' (NAMIC) members and the insurance industry as a whole, reports Tami Stanton, NAMIC’s central region state affairs manager. Legislation deregulating commercial forms, banning municipal fees for accident investigations, fixing an error in the workers compensation second injury fund formula, and expanding the state’s seat belt law to all passengers in all vehicles passed.
“Indiana’s insurance community continued its long history of working together to protect and improve the state’s positive environment that benefits insurers and consumers alike. Again this session, NAMIC assisted its state trade partner, the Insurance Institute of Indiana, by working together and putting Indiana in the positive spotlight on key issues,” explained Stanton.
According to Stanton, with the end of 2007 session, Indiana became the first state in the nation to pass a ban, HB 1274, on local communities trying to enact municipal fees on vehicle accident investigations. Indiana also continued to modernize its regulatory market by deregulating commercial forms with language contained in the omnibus insurance bill, HB 1452.
“The success in Indiana’s session is due to the leadership provided by the Insurance Institute of Indiana and the Indiana Economic Development Corporation,” Stanton said.
Steve Williams, president of the Insurance Institute of Indiana, agreed with Stanton, stating “the 2007 session of the Indiana General Assembly should be viewed as a success on a broad scale. Given the struggles of the insurance industry in legislatures across the nation, the Insurance Institute is proud to have accomplished a variety of key victories for both personal and commercial property and casualty lines.
“The full deregulation of commercial form filings reinforces Indiana’s position as one of the top states for commercial insurers to do business. In addition, we hope the commercial deregulation law will serve as an indicator of Indiana’s support for the insurance industry, and will help encourage carriers to look toward Indiana as a place to locate operations.”
The omnibus HB 1452 also includes personal lines changes forced on insurers after the flooding in northwest Indiana and hail storms in the central portion of the state last year. Events related to those natural disasters caused legislators to increase the timeframe for filing lawsuits to two years and add a personal lines property coverage notification requirement. Language fixing a technical, but important glitch, in the second injury fund assessment formula for insurers was also amended into the bill. The bill also includes filing fee increases agreed to by the industry.
Another positive measure adopted was HB 1237, which requires seat belt use in all vehicles, including trucks and the back seat of passenger vehicles.
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Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Tuesday, May 01, 2007 3:27:51 PM.
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