Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of April 15, 2024

California — Bill Introduced to Assist with Insurance Issues: A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the California Assembly to give homeowners in disaster-prone areas of California with incentives to harden their properties against wildfire.

California Rep. Mike Thompson, a Democrat and Republican Rep.Doug LaMalfa have titled the bill, the Disaster Resiliency and Coverage Act of 2024. Technically, it’s H.R. 7849 and is actually designed to address insurance issues.

The bill is a grant program that will give households in those regions up to $10,000 to do specific disaster resiliency work on their homes. Under the bill, that money will not be considered income. There is also a 30% tax credit to give to properties where the costs exceed $10,000.

Source link: Insurance Journal — https://bit.ly/3vReUBN

Washington — OIC launches podcast to address insurance questions: Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler has launched a podcast to provide consumers and listeners in the Evergreen State with additional information about the insurance industry and the OIC’s work.

The podcast, “OIC Answers,” poses a question about an aspect of insurance in each episode, from how to get signed up for Medicare to why your car insurance rates change. 

“Our Consumer Advocacy division fields hundreds of calls from Washingtonians with questions about their insurance,” Kreidler said. “I hope this new avenue for sharing information can help people learn more about their coverage and their options, not to mention our work, at their own pace.”

Hosts Aaron VanTuyl and Matt Baide, from the agency’s Public Affairs division, will spend each episode asking a member of the agency’s staff questions about a specific topic to help consumers in Washington state better understand their coverage, and what the OIC can do for them. 

How does the OIC combat insurance fraud? Is pet insurance a worthwhile investment? What’s covered if your house is caught in a natural disaster? Why is car insurance more expensive now? This new 15-minute podcast will provide the answers.

Episodes will be published monthly and available on insurance.wa.gov, as well as Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Washington — Kreidler fines Coordinated Care Corporation $35,000 for incorrect claims processing: Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler fined Coordinated Care Corporation $35,000 in March for incorrectly processing claims for telehealth services.

Due to a misconfiguration in the company’s system in 2022, a total of 1,872 telehealth claims were inadvertently billed for cost-shares of $177,344. The company corrected the issue and removed the cost shares from those claims.

March fines and consent orders

The fine was part of $255,000 in fines Kreidler’s office issued in March of 2024 for violations of state insurance laws and regulations. The other fines included:

Molina Healthcare of Washington, Bothell, Wash.; fined $100,000.

First Premier Home Warranty Corp, Brooklyn, New York; fined $100,000.

Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company, Hartford, Conn.; fined $3,000 (order 24-0023).

    Hartford used incorrect rating factors on 29 homeowners insurance policies between October 2022 and March 2023, most of which were due to automated square footage estimates not being updated.

Trinity Universal Insurance Company, Dallas, Texas; fined $3,000 (order 24-0019).

    Trinity Universal used incorrect rating factors on 13 homeowners insurance policies in 2022.

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington, Seattle, Wash.; fined $10,000 (order 24-0014).

    Kaiser failed to file four group rate filings within 30 days of the rates going into effect. The oldest of the four filings went into effect on January 1, 2021, and was submitted in February 2022, which was late by 244 business days.

Acme Fuel Company, Olympia, Wash.; fined $2,000 (order 24-0027).

    Acme failed to timely file its annual report with the OIC on two occasions without first obtaining an extension.

Starr Indemnity & Liability Company, Dallas, Texas; fined $1,000 (order 24-0010).

    The company used incorrect rating factors on 10 policies.

Janke Insurance Agency, Moses Lake, Wash.; fined $1,000 (order 24-0007).

    The licensee and its employees failed to promptly process a customer’s request to cancel five policies and closely supervise its employees’ work.

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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