Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of May 22, 2023

California — Work Comp Written Premiums up 14% from 2021: California’s Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has issued the Quarterly Experience Report. It updates how work comp insurers are doing as of December of last year.

  • Written premiums in 2022 were 14% above those of 2021
  • Higher wage levels and economic recovery from COVID drove the increases
  • The average rate charged — however — is 7% below 2021 and is the lowest in several decades
  • The projected loss ratio will drop 4 points
  • The projected combined ratio will be 5 points lower than 2021

Source link: Insurance Journal —

Washington — Kreidler fines Airbnb $20,000 for acting as an unauthorized insurer: Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has fined Airbnb $20,000 for acting as an unauthorized insurer in Washington state. Kreidler also ordered the company to obtain a surplus lines insurance policy to continue offering its Host Damage Protection (HDP) program in Washington.

Airbnb must pay the fine by June 5, 2023, and secure a surplus lines policy through a broker licensed in Washington by August 5, 2023.

Kreidler’s office opened its investigation based on the HDP program, which advertised $1 million in coverage for damages caused by a guest. It was included with each booking as part of the company’s AirCover program, provided under a general liability policy with hosts covered as insureds.

As part of the consent order, Airbnb will review all previously denied HDP claims filed by hosts with properties in Washington since January 1, 2021, and pay out any covered costs that were improperly denied. Going forward, all claim coverage and amounts paid out to Airbnb hosts will be determined by an insurance adjuster licensed in Washington state.

Between January 1, 2019, and March 23, 2022, hosts in Washington submitted nearly 13,000 reimbursement requests, with 5,525 of those made directly to Airbnb. The company paid 3,565 of those claims for a total of just over $2.3 million.

As of January 25, 2022, Airbnb had 15,160 hosts listed in Washington.

The Office of the Insurance Commissioner regulates Washington’s insurance industry to ensure companies, agents and brokers follow state laws. Since 2001, Kreidler has assessed more than $38 million in fines, which are directed to the state’s general fund to pay for state services.

Washington — What Washington’s new pet insurance bill means for you: Gov. Jay Inslee signed Washington state’s new pet insurance bill, Senate Bill 5319, into law in April.

What’s it mean for you? More protection and less confusion.

The bill, based on model legislation from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, adds protections for pet owners, requires insurers to disclose information about coverage, and establishes training and licensing requirements for sellers.


SB 5319 establishes uniform definitions for terms frequently used in pet insurance policies. The defined terms include chronic condition, congenital anomaly, hereditary disorder, orthopedic, preexisting condition, renewal, veterinarian, veterinary expenses, waiting period and wellness program.

If your insurance policy includes any of these terms, the company is required to use the definition cited in SB 5319 and make that definition available on its website.


If you’re purchasing pet insurance, the insurer is required to let you know if the policy excludes coverage based on preexisting conditions, hereditary disorders, congenital anomalies or disorders, or a chronic condition. If there’s any other exclusions, the policy must include specific language to that effect.

Your insurer also must let you know if your policy has any limitations (like a waiting period, deductible, coinsurance, or policy limit), and if your coverage reduces or premiums increase based on your claims history, your pet’s age, or a change in your location.

Free look period

After you purchase a policy, you have 15 days to change your mind, return the policy and get your money back — provided you haven’t filed a claim.


Polices may have exclusions for preexisting conditions, and the burden to show any condition already existed falls to your insurance company — not the pet owner.

Waiting periods aren’t allowed for accident coverage. Policies can impose waiting periods (up to 30 days) for coverage of illnesses or orthopedic conditions, but they can be waived with a medical examination.

Your insurance company can’t require a medical examination for a policy renewal.

Wellness programs

Wellness programs are usually subscription-based and help spread out costs for vet check-ups, vaccinations, and, in some cases, necessary specialty foods. A wellness program is different than an insurance policy. Your pet’s eligibility for insurance can’t be tied to participation in a wellness program, and insurers can’t market a wellness program as pet insurance or market a wellness program while selling pet insurance.


Anyone selling pet insurance must complete the required training and become licensed by the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

The bill goes into effect on January 1, 2024.

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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