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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 1, 2017

California — Jones & Oil: This came to Weekly Industry News from the California Department of Insurance.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones fired back, in a strongly worded letter, to the 12 oil state attorneys general and one governor from oil and coal states such as Texas and Oklahoma who recently threatened to sue him if he did not stop his Climate Risk Carbon Initiative asking insurers to voluntarily divest from thermal coal investments and requiring that insurers publicly disclose their investments in coal, oil, gas, and utilities, which face climate-related risks.

"I am not deterred by threats of lawsuits from attorneys general of 12 oil and coal states who find it politically popular to deny the reality of climate change," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "We will continue our Climate Risk Carbon Initiative-it is a sound regulatory based on considerable evidence of climate-related financial risks to fossil fuel investments."

As the regulator of the nation's largest insurance market, one of Commissioner Jones' primary responsibilities include making sure insurance companies are financially sound and able to deliver on their promises to pay policyholder claims. That responsibility, coupled with the volatility of carbon-based investments, in particular coal, has led him to request insurers to publicly disclose investments that are at risk of becoming "stranded assets" as governments may increasingly restrict the use of fossil fuels, and consumers and businesses potentially move away from relying on fossil fuels.

Jones is not the only financial regulator with concerns about climate related financial risks, although he is one of the first to require public disclosure of fossil fuel invests and to ask insurers to voluntarily divest. The G-20 Financial Stability Board, the Prudential Regulatory Authority of the Bank of England, insurance regulators across the globe, institutional and private investors, and many others, have called for disclosure by insurers of climate-related risks. Just this week, the Sustainable Insurance Forum issued a statement from international insurance regulators announcing support the Financial Stability Board's climate disclosure recommendations.  

 

California — Chevron Settlement: Cal/OSHA and Chevron have reached a $20 million settlement as a result of the firm’s fire at its Richmond refinery in 2012. That fire was caused by equipment failure that the firm’s engineers recommended be fixed in 2002.

The fire sent smoke and gas into residential areas causing thousands to have to seek medical treatment.

New equipment and safety measures have been put into place. “This means safer operations at the refinery, which will help protect refinery workers and those who work and live nearby,” Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum said.

The state also fined Chevron $1 million in 2013.

Idaho — Idaho insurance director seeks comment: This came to Weekly Industry News from the Idaho Department of Insurance.

The Idaho Department of Insurance is working on a number of rules for the 2018 legislative session. Rules are generally written to clarify or update language in the insurance code. However, most of the proposed rules are modifications or reduce government requirements, while others are requesting outright repeal. Topics of the proposed rules include:

  Transparency in life insurance policy names

  Uninsured and underinsured auto coverage options for consumers

  Sale of insurance by vending machines

  Title insurance policy cancellation fees

  Use of paper forms for filing disability insurance claims

  Use of return of premium on certain plans

 

Some of the proposed rules serve to eliminate obsolete practices outmoded by the widespread use of technology. “I challenged department staff to review rules to determine if any changes are needed, or if any rules are no longer pertinent,” said Department Director Dean Cameron. “In some cases, rules were found to be unnecessary, and we are asking for those to be repealed.”

Information about the individual rules, including where to direct electronic comments, can be found on the Department website at the following link: http://www.doi.idaho.gov/publicinformation/laws/Rulemaking.aspx, or by viewing the Office of Administrative Rules Administrative Bulletin, https://adminrules.idaho.gov/bulletin/index.html.

The Department welcomes comments on proposed rules prior to the 2018 legislative session, and invites the public to submit comments about these rules to the Director’s attention at the following address or electronically as directed in the respective notices:

Dean L. Cameron, Director

Idaho Department of Insurance

PO Box 83720

Boise ID 83702-0043

dean.Cameron@doi.idaho.gov

 

Oregon — From the Oregon Department of Insurance: The Oregon Health Authority, Health Policy and Analytics Division would like you to be aware of the following Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Hearing relating to Healthcare Practitioner Credentialing, Telemedicine and Physician Credentialing.

The proposed rules and notice can be accessed at the following link: http://www.oregon.gov/oha/HPA/HPARules/409-045%20Notice-Web.pdf

 

RULE Summary:

Since initial rules were developed in 2014, OHA has been continuing work with stakeholders on the implementation of the Oregon Common Credentialing Program. To ensure programmatic requirements and to comply with statutory provisions, OHA is proposing changes to the credentialing rules that:

  Add an official operational date for the program;

  Adjust definitions to include additional practitioner types and designees;

  Adjust requirements to allow practitioners to request a waiver from electronic submission in extreme cases;

  Add health system requirements to ensure those organizations and their expectations are defined;

  Make grammatical and clarifying language changes where necessary;

  Add fee structure requirements and amounts; and

  Define directory related information based on legislative intent.

DISCLAIMER: The Program's operational date, the date in which program participation is mandatory, in rule and the specific treatment of health systems - including the health system definition - are tentative and will be finalized prior to Final Rule. OHA is working with vendors on the OCCP project schedule, and key stakeholders on the health system component to finalize these areas of the rule.

Please contact Zarie Haverkate at zarie.haverkate@state.or.us if you have any questions.

 

Washington — From the Office of the Insurance Commissioner: Notice of rulemaking on Elimination of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s school district employee health benefits annual report

We are starting rulemaking (R 2017-09) to comply with House Bill 1042 which removed all reference to the annual report done by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of school district employee health insurance benefits.

Comments are due September 1, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the notice to start rulemaking (CR-101), please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/elimination-office-insurance-commissioners-school-district-employee-health-benefits-annual-report?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Addressing surplus lines brokers licensing (R 2017-10) rule stakeholder draft posted

We released a stakeholder draft for the Addressing surplus lines brokers licensing rule (R 2017-10). During the 2017 legislative session Substitute House Bill 1027, was passed which amends the surplus line broker licensing statute.

We scheduled a stakeholder meeting to discuss the rule:

When: August 9, 2017, at 10:00 a.m.

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater. The call-in number is 1-877-668-4490. The attendee access code is 206 390 65.

Comments on the stakeholder draft are due August 8, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the text of the stakeholder draft, please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/addressing-surplus-line-brokers-licensing-r-2017-10?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Cost of public records requests (R 2017-05) rule stakeholder draft posted

We released a stakeholder draft for the public records request cost rule (R 2017-05). This rule will conform sections of WAC: 284-03-035 to the statutory amendments in Engrossed House Bill 1595, particularly the charging of fees for copying public records.

We scheduled a stakeholder meeting to discuss the rule:

When: August 22, 2017, at 2:00 p.m.

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater. The call-in number is 1-877-668-4490. Attendee access code 206 247 23.

Comments on the stakeholder draft are due August 21, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the text of the stakeholder draft, please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/cost-public-records-requests-r-2017-05?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

 

Elimination of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s school district employee health benefits annual report (R 2017-09) rule stakeholder draft posted

We released a stakeholder draft for the Elimination of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s school district employee health benefits annual report rule (R 2017-09). House Bill 1042 repealed RCW 48.02.210 and 48.62.181 and amended RCW 28A.400.275 removing references to an annual report of school district employee health insurance benefits by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner. The adoption of House Bill 1042 requires the repeal of all of Chapter 284-198 WAC.

We scheduled a stakeholder meeting to discuss the rule:

When: August 9, 2017, at 11:00 a.m.

Where: 5000 Capitol Blvd SE, Tumwater. The call-in number is 1-877-668-4490. The attendee access code is 206 247 23

Comments on the stakeholder draft are due August 8, 2017; please send them to rulescoordinator@oic.wa.gov.

For more information, including the text of the stakeholder draft, please visit the rule's webpage: https://www.insurance.wa.gov/elimination-office-insurance-commissioners-school-district-employee-health-benefits-annual-report?utm_content=&utm_medium=email&utm_name=&utm_source=govdelivery&utm_term=

Tags:  Around the PIA Western Alliance States  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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