The South Carolina Legislature adjourned on May 12 – ending the 124th General Assembly. Following is a recap of legislation that was followed by IIABSC during the year.
LEGISLATION THAT PASSED
CE Exemption Re-established During Final Week of Session
In the last of a two-year legislative session, the SC General Assembly gave insurance agents an early Christmas gift during the last four days of the session. With an amendment to legislation regarding real estate agents' continuing education, legislators added a continuing education exemption threshold for insurance agents.
Insurance agents with 25+ years licensure and are 65+ years old will be eligible for exemption from continuing education requirements. You must meet both requirements to qualify.
The SC Department of Insurance is developing the process and system to track this new exemption. There is no timetable for implementation – but they are working quickly. The DOI will be issuing a bulletin once internal details have been finalized.
CE EXEMPTION APPLICATION FORM
Updates to Private Flood Insurance
Some technical updates were made to the South Carolina Private Flood Insurance Act from 2020 that includes adding cancellation provisions for private flood policies to allow ten days' notice of cancellation for non-payment of premium.
Clarification on Anti-Rebating
Anti-rebating laws were updated to clarify that providing free or discounted safety/loss control devices (water sensors, etc.) by the insurer or a third party is NOT rebating.
Mutual Recission for Life Insurance
The statues governing life insurance policies were updated to allow life insurance carriers to rescind a life insurance policy with the two-year contestability period if the original application included false statements.
Suitability for Annuity Transactions (Regulation 69-29)
This regulation was updated with modernized language and standards to conform with model language from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. The regulation defines requirements that producers must comply with when offering and selling annuities.
LEGISLATION STILL MOVING – IN CONFERENCE COMMITTEE
These bills were passed in both the House and Senate but with different versions. Conference committees have been assigned to work out differences. The House and Senate still must agree on a single, final version.
S 908 – Prohibits squatting trucks
H 3600 – Allows utility terrain vehicles (UTVs) to operate legally on secondary roads
H 4534 – Changes penalties/charges for theft and transport of catalytic converters
DID NOT PASS
Dozens of bills either did not pass the House, Senate or both or never were brought up in committee. These bills are dead for this year – but could be re-introduced in January when the 125th General Assembly convenes.
Joint and Several Liability Reform – would have amended statute to apportion liability according to fault.
Workers’ compensation rules of evidence – would have relaxed current rules when presenting evidence for workers’ compensation cases.
PTSD coverage for first responders – would provide workers’ compensation coverage for PTSD for law enforcement/first responders.
Mandatory Earthquake Insurance offer – would have required insurers/agents to provide a quotation for earthquake coverage with every homeowner’s quote, obtain a signed declination when the insured did not purchase.
Underinsured Motorist Coverage – would require UIM mandatory on all auto insurance policies.
Hands-Free Act – would have prohibited holding a cell phone while driving.
This legislative recap was prepared by IIABSC President Frank Sheppard – contact Frank for more details and/or specific legislative language.