Alabama: House, Senate Insurance Committees Consider ‘Clarity,’ Other Notice Requirements

Alabama: House, Senate Insurance Committees Consider ‘Clarity,’ Other Notice Requirements

A new version of the “clarity” bill as well as other burdensome notice requirement bills, SB 228 and SB 231, were heard last week by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. The committee gave SB 454 a favorable report. In addition, members considered SB 451, which would allow public adjusters to operate in Alabama.

The House Insurance Committee also considered a public adjuster bill, HB 510, and HB 456 to make tax-free catastrophe savings accounts available. Liz Reynolds, NAMIC Southeast state affairs manager, emailed all members of both committees to share NAMIC’s concerns.

Reynolds explained that NAMIC supports catastrophe savings accounts, writing “Providing policyholders with the incentive to appropriately manage finances set aside for use when catastrophe strikes is a crucial element for any package of solutions…” The committee gave HB 510 a favorable report.

However, Reynolds offered the cautionary tale of Florida’s experience with public adjusters in an effort to discourage legislators from legitimizing public adjusters in Alabama and asked that they vote “no” on both SB 451 and HB 510. The House Insurance Committee referred HB 510 to a subcommittee, and the Senate B&I Committee will vote tomorrow on SB 451.

Reynolds also respectfully requested that Senate B&I members oppose SB 228 and SB 231, pointing out that these bills, as currently drafted, are not likely to provide the consumer education intended by the bills’ sponsors but would certainly impose more costs on insurers that eventually would be borne by policyholders. No vote was taken on these bills, but they are likely to be heard again in the Senate B&I Committee tomorrow.

Direct questions to NAMIC State Affairs Manager Liz Reynolds.