Recapping the First Half of Legislative Session
The first half of the current two-year legislative session is now done — and several key insurance bills were passed during the last week. The General Assembly was working with three fewer weeks on the calendar – adjourning May 11.
The General Assembly will return May 23rd at 12:00 noon, to consider gubernatorial vetoes, bills in conference committees, and other resolutions. Other special sessions may convene upon the call of the Speaker of the House and President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Otherwise, the General Assembly will re-convene January 9, 2018.
Insurance Legislation that Passed
(open the link on the bill # to track the current status and read the entire bill)
H 3488 Electronic Delivery of certain insurance information
This bill provides rules and regulations for insurance companies that provide insurance documents electronically — including cancellation and non-renewal documents. Insureds must “opt in” to electronic delivery and can change their decision any time. Companies cannot require customers accept electronic delivery of documents — but it could allow incentives to use e-delivery as well.
H H 3441 Electronic payment of workers’ compensation benefits
Allows workers’ compensation benefits to be paid by check, direct deposit, debit cards, electronic funds transfers and other acceptable means.
S 315 – Safe Home Program update
Updates several provisions in the existing SC Safe Home Program that provides grants for coastal property mitigation.
S 463 – Excess Disability Insurance through E&S Markets/Producer Fingerprinting update
Makes Excess Disability Insurance an eligible insurance product through the non-admitted markets. This legislation also clarifies that producer fingerprints only have to be taken once.
S 116 – Minimum Liability Limits for Serving Alcohol
Requires all establishments that serve alcoholic beverages for on-site consumption to carry a minimum of $1 million in liability insurance.
H 3247 – Definition and operation of mopeds
Classifies mopeds as motor vehicles. While the legislation does not include mandatory liability insurance, uninsured motorist coverage could now be applicable in certain claims involving mopeds.
S 254 – ORSA Model Act
The “Own Risk Solvency Assessment Act” is a model act that relates to solvency exams. The DOI needed this legislation to maintain NAIC accreditation.
Insurance Legislation that has not passed
All legislation that has been introduced and/or considered carries over into 2018. Here are some of the insurance-related bills that IIABSC is following. Most of these will not be considered.
S 239 – Safety belt admissibility in civil cases
This proposal would permit safety belt use as evidence and would remove the provision that failure to comply with the statute constitutes negligence per se.
S 240 – Prohibit the use of credit-based insurance scores
This proposal would prohibit the use of numerical credit-based insurance scores in rate making.
S 277 – Limit liability for volunteer drivers
This proposal would limit the liability for drivers who volunteer to transport elderly persons.
S 300 – Minors applying for Beginner’s Permits
This proposal would change the conditions that allow minors to apply for Beginner’s Permits.
H 3526 – Prohibit handheld cell phone use while driving
This proposal would prohibit the use of a handheld cellular device while driving.
H 3527 – Disclosure of event data recorders in vehicles
This proposal would require automobile manufacturers and rental companies to disclose that the vehicle is equipped with an event data recorder.
H 3022 – Increased rates prohibition for no fault
Prohibits insurers from increasing insurance rates because of accidents that were not the fault of the insured.
H 4070 – Rental Car Insurance
Would make an owner’s personal auto policy primary coverage when owner rents a vehicle – the rental car insurance would be secondary.
H 3419 – Excess HO insurance
This bill would limit the total value of a property’s insured value to the sum of the total number of liens on the property, unless the homeowner affirmatively consents to a higher limit.
S 313 (H 3570) – County windstorm protection and insurance program
This bill would allow for counties to establish mitigation programs for homeowners to retrofit their homes against natural disasters.
S 238 – Consent and notification of deductible increases
This bill would require insurers to obtain written consent from insureds prior to increasing deductibles.
S 254 – Hurricane damage mitigation program funding
Expands the Hurricane Damage Mitigation Program (Safe Home) to include flood mitigation and increases the funding for the Safe Home program. This has passed out of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and currently is before the Senate Finance Committee to consider the additional funding this bill contemplates. IIABSC supports this bill.
S 267 (H 3422) – State Grand Juries investigate cases of insurance fraud
This bill would allow the use of state grand juries as a tool to investigate certain cases of insurance fraud.
S 269 (H 3410) – Increase minimum funding for insurance fraud investigators
This proposal would increase the minimum funding recommendation for the Insurance Fraud Division from $200,000 to $400,000.
H 3523 – Mental injury coverage for first responders
This proposal would change the definitions of mental injuries, and expand workers’ compensation coverage for first responders.
Department of Insurance
H 3418 – Prohibit the use of marital status and education in rating of insurance
This bill would prohibit the use of marital status and education level in insurance rating.
H 3421 – Prohibit the use of credit and method of payment in insurance rating
This bill would prohibit insurers from considering credit scores and method of premium payments in establishing premium rates.