Agents' Advocate Bulletin
Monday, July 10, 2017
PIA Agents’ Advocate bulletin
July 10, 2017
Oregon Legislature Adjourns
The Oregon legislative session adjourned in mid-afternoon on July 7, 2017. Click here for a list of bills which PIA has been following.
The legislature passed a $5.3 billion transportation plan, balanced the budget, and preserved Medicaid coverage for 350,000 Oregonians. But other objectives, such as a major corporate activities tax and a greenhouse gas carbon pricing plan, failed. The insurance industry specifically did well, by passing a number of beneficial bills and killing others brought by the trial bar.
Insurance industry bills that passed successfully included:
- SB 331 https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB331/Enrolled
Permits insurer in lieu of renewing policy to offer insured replacement policy if insurer provides notice to insured and insurance producer at least 45 days before date on which policy subject to renewal expires.
- SB 332 https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB332/Enrolled
Provides that prohibition against person offering rebate of premium does not prohibit giving, as form of advertising, as promotional program or as promotional material, prize, goods, wares, merchandise, articles or property with aggregate value that does not exceed $100 in calendar year to insureds other than persons for whom insurer issues health insurance or health benefit plan.
Past Due Support Data Match:
- SB 510 https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB510/Enrolled
Requires insurance companies to enter into agreements with Department of Justice to provide information and financial records to department for claimants who are obligors of past due support.
Commercial Rates/Forms Exemption:
- SB 985 https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB985/Enrolled
Exempts insurers that transact certain classes of commercial insurance from requirement to file rates or policy forms.
- SB 986 https://olis.leg.state.or.us/liz/2017R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB986/Enrolled
Permits insurance licensee to not provide annual notices of licensee's policies and practices with respect to disclosing personal information if licensee provides personal information to nonaffiliated third parties only in accordance with applicable law and does not change policies and practices that licensee last disclosed to customer.
Insurance agents helped kill SB 977 relating to non-competition agreements, but there may be a work group during the interim. PIAO/I helped kill a bad faith bill (HB 2858 - see below).
Death of Bad Faith Bill Illustrates Value of PAC
HB 2858 was this session’s bad faith bill, which would have severly affected the insurance industry. The key “no” vote on the House committee was a new legislator, Rep. Janelle Bynum (Democrat/HD 51).
Rep. Bynum participated in PIAO/I’s Insurance Education Program for new candidates in the summer of 2016 at Stamm Stuart Bybee Insurance Agency in Gresham. We spoke to her about the issue of bad faith during that program. When HB 2858 arose in 2017, Mike Bybee testified against it.
Our Oregon PAC supports the Insurance Education Program. HB 2858 is a fine example of how valuable it can be. Our PAC relies on your contributions to make the program successful. Please donate today by sending a check to PIA Oregon PAC, Western Alliance, 3205 NE 78th St. Suite 104, Vancouver WA 98665. Donate by credit card here.
Oregon Legislature Approves Reproductive Services Bill
Insurance companies in Oregon would be required to cover abortions and a variety of other reproductive services at no cost to the patient under a $10 million reproductive health bill approved by the state Legislature. Oregon already has among the most liberal abortion laws in the nation, which are absent of otherwise common requirements for waiting periods or spending limits on taxpayer funds, among others.
Here are links to an article about the issue and the bill itself:
Marijuana Coverage Bulletin and Report
Oregon Division of Financial Regulation Bulletin DFR 2017-04:
Clarifying Coverage for Marijuana Items and Activities
Property and casualty insurance policies commonly include public policy clauses or exclusions for illegal substances or illegal activities. Because the production, processing, sale, and use of medical and recreational marijuana are legal in Oregon, but are prohibited by federal law, general exclusionary language may not be sufficient to clearly define what is covered in a policy. To provide certainty to insurers and insureds, property and casualty insurance policies should explicitly state whether marijuana items and marijuana activities are covered or excluded, and whether marijuana activities are considered illegal activities under the policy.
Although the federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits the possession and production of marijuana, Oregon law permits the possession of marijuana items and engaging in marijuana activities, within limits defined by statute. Because these items and activities are permitted by Oregon law, insurers may provide coverage for marijuana items and activities within state boundaries.
This bulletin takes effect June 29, 2017.
Please visit the division's website for more details: http://dfr.oregon.gov/laws-rules/Pages/bulletins.aspx
If you have any questions about the 2017 legislative session, please send me an email directly to email@example.com. It has been my pleasure to serve PIAO/I, and we also thank our Oregon Government Relations Committee members for their service. Thanks to everyone who participated in the process as well.
PIAO/I Oregon Lobbyist
P.O. Box 1517
Wilsonville, OR 97070