Happy New Year! Best wishes for a great year in 2024 to you and yours.
New Year – New Laws
The new year brings some new laws which take effect immediately. PIA members will be interested in several of these.
SB 82 strengthens consumer protections for homeowners dealing with wildfire-related issues. It requires insurance companies to explain, using property-specific characteristics, why a policy might not be getting renewed or why a rate is going up, and to reflect in rating and underwriting plans how that insurer addresses or considers wildfire risk mitigation actions. These actions could include creation of defensible space, home hardening, and community-based mitigation activities. It also requires insurers to allow up to 36 months to repair, rebuild, or replace damaged or lost property if it was directly related to a fire that was subject of an order under the Emergency Conflagration Act. This bill also prohibits insurance companies from using statewide wildfire risk maps published by the Oregon Department of Forestry as a basis for canceling or declining to renew a policy or increasing premiums.
HB 2982 requires homeowners insurance issuers to offer 70 percent of property contents coverage without requiring policyholders to submit an inventory if a total loss occurs due to a declared disaster.
These and other insurance-related bills were mentioned in a recent press release by the Oregon Division of Financial Regulation recently. Please contact me if you would like to see the full list, which also includes health insurance bills.
Legislative Days in January
The final interim meetings of legislative committees prior to the 2024 short session will be held on January 10 through 12. During this time committees will discuss bills they plan to introduce as a committee in the coming days. We haven’t seen much relating to insurance yet, but PIA will watch to see what may interest our members.
The next Oregon legislative session will begin on February 5 and end on March 10, 2024. A limited number of bills will be introduced, and the timelines are obviously much more condensed than during long sessions. Bills are generally released about a week before the session begins, and PIA will review them to give you a list of bills we will follow. If you have any questions, please let us know.