Around the PIA Western Alliance States – Week of March 11, 2024

California — Commissioner Lara announces multiple appointments to key insurance-related boards and committees: Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced several appointments to help advance the California Department of Insurance’s vision of insurance protection for all Californians.

These appointments include naming Ronald Coleman Baeza as the newest member of the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee (CLHIGA) Board of Directors, Samantha Tradelius as the newest member of the Curriculum Board, reappointed members Andrew Chick and Heather Pierce to the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) Board of Governors, reappointed member Debra Gore-Mann to the California Organized Investment Network (COIN) Advisory Board, reappointed members Linda Akutagawa, Imelda Alejandrino, Annalisa Barrett, and Cecil Plummer to the Insurance Diversity Task Force, and reappointed member Jeremy Smith to the California Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) Governing Committee.

“These appointments underscore our commitment to protecting consumer interests and promoting a robust insurance industry in California,” said Commissioner Lara. “The expertise and diverse viewpoints of these appointees will help complement our efforts to ensure a competitive and sustainable insurance market, ultimately benefiting consumers and businesses statewide.”

CLHIGA consists of all insurance companies licensed to sell life and health insurance, and annuities in California, and it protects certain policyholders against a company’s financial failure. The Board of Directors is responsible for the overall oversight of CLHIGA, which includes approving contracts and reinsurance treaties, authorizing assessments, borrowing money, taking legal actions, and serving on committees that oversee audit and investment functions. The Board consists of up to thirteen member insurers who are selected by the board members and are subject to the approval of the Commissioner. AB 1104 (Chapter 236, Statutes of 2019) added two additional members to the board who represent the public generally and are appointed directly by the Commissioner.

The Curriculum Board oversees the development of pre-licensing and continuing education curriculum for agents and brokers to uphold professional standards that protect consumers. This includes a list of preapproved courses of study as well as courses of study for professional designations. This Board also develops standards for providers and instructors who offer courses and other training to licensed agents and brokers.

The CIGA Board of Governors oversees the guarantee association’s general operations and management in order to protect policyholders in the event of an insurance company insolvency. Established in 1969 by the Governor and California State Legislature, CIGA comprises all insurance companies admitted to sell homeowners, workers’ compensation, automobile, and other specified property and casualty lines of insurance in California.

The California Organized Investment Network (COIN) was established in 1996 within the Department of Insurance to guide insurers on making financially sound investments that yield environmental benefits throughout California and social benefits within the State’s underserved communities. Commissioner Lara has prioritized COIN investments which drive affordable housing, support small businesses, combat climate change, and encourage investors to utilize diverse investment managers more. The COIN Advisory Board provides guidance to the Commissioner and the COIN program to meet its mission and chief priorities.

The Insurance Diversity Task Force oversees the Department’s Insurance Diversity Initiative, which encourages insurers to advance diversity of insurance company corporate boards and increase procurement contracts with diverse businesses owned by women, veterans and disabled veterans, members of historically disadvantaged communities, and LGBTQ+ people. Additionally, the Task Force makes recommendations to the Commissioner regarding innovative ways to increase diversity within the insurance industry. Last year, Commissioner Lara introduced the first-ever Insurance Diversity Index, a groundbreaking benchmarking tool for a more inclusive insurance industry.

The WCIRB Governing Committee sets policy, oversees WCIRB management, and reviews all issues involving pure premium rates, classifications, rating plans, rating systems, manual rules and policy, and endorsement forms. The WCIRB is a private organization licensed by the Department for the purpose of collecting, analyzing, and compiling rating data, with funding coming from assessments of its insurance company members. All workers’ compensation insurance companies in California are required by law to be members of the WCIRB.

The next CLHIGA Board of Directors meeting will be held on May 7, 2024, the next Curriculum Board meeting is July 18, 2024, the next CIGA Board of Governors meeting is May 7 and May 8, 2024, the next COIN Advisory Board meeting is March 14, 2024, the next Insurance Diversity Task Force meeting is March 7, 2024, and the next WCIRB Governing Committee meeting is April 17, 2024.

More details are available at: www.insurance.ca.gov/boards. All positions are uncompensated.

Oregon — The 2024 short session of the Oregon Legislature ended on March 7: Many of the bills that PIA followed, including a bill to develop an insurance-related risk reduction certification program, died. The list of those bills which did survive is below.

There was no mention of bad faith or other issues of great concern to the insurance industry. Agents should note that they will now be covered under the FBI’s Rap Back system for fingerprint criminal records checks under HB 4122-En.

There are several workers’ compensation related bills, bills having to do with construction contractors, and transportation related bills. The Prescribed Fire Liability Pilot Program was changed under HB 4016-En. Please review the entire list. Let us know if you have any questions.

Our thanks once again to the PIA Government Relations Committee members!

Professional Insurance Agents – PIA

2024 Oregon Legislative Session

Bill Tracking as of 3/9/2024

SENATE BILLS

SB 1575- En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB1575/Enrolled

The Act says that public bodies may not have certain terms in some types of construction contracts. Limits a public body’s ability to require a duty to defend the public body in a contract with a person or entity providing architectural, engineering, photogrammetric mapping, transportation planning, land surveying services or related services. Provides that certain provisions relating to construction agreements do not apply to design-build contracts. Sunsets provisions on January 1, 2035.

SB 1576-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB1576/Enrolled

The Act changes the law about when the AG can share some materials about consumer data. The Act makes some court records of when a minor settles a claim secret. The Act changes the law making some owners immune from liability when they allow recreation on their land. Modifies provisions regarding disclosure of certain materials relating to consumer data investigations by the Attorney General. Provides for confidentiality of court records relating to certain settlements of minors’ claims. Modifies provisions relating to recreational immunity and makes some of the changes temporary. Declares an emergency, effective on passage.

SB 1580-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/SB1580/Enrolled

The Act would make it a crime for an employer to file a false payroll report to lower its workers’ comp premium. Provides that an employer commits a Class A misdemeanor if the employer knowingly submits a false payroll report with the intent to decrease the employer’s premium for workers’ compensation insurance. Punishes by a maximum of 364 days’ imprisonment, a $6,250 fine, or both. Declares an emergency, effective on passage.

HOUSE BILLS

HB 4006-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4006/Enrolled

Requires state agencies to accept surety bonds from people who perform construction work for the state, instead of holding onto some of the money the agencies owe for the work, in order to make sure the work is done correctly. Gives a form for the surety bond. Requires a contracting agency to accept from contractors surety bonds in lieu of retainage for construction projects and public improvement contracts. Specifies requirements for submitting surety bonds. Specifies relations between a contractor and a subcontractor when the contractor submits a surety bond on behalf of the subcontractor. Declares an emergency, effective on passage.

HB 4012-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4012/Enrolled

The Act does not allow an insurer to make a health care provider purchase a drug at a certain pharmacy if the provider is giving the drug to a patient in certain settings. The Act also applies to other types of entities that pay for health care. Prohibits issuers of health benefit plans, health care service contractors or multiple employer welfare arrangements from requiring that drugs that are administered by health care providers in specified settings be dispensed at a certain pharmacy or by a pharmacy that is in the provider’s network.

HB 4016-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4016/Enrolled

The Act makes certain changes to a program for planned fires. The Act directs an agency to extend the deadline for a grant program for protecting homes from fire. The Act directs agencies to report on creating a program for protecting homes from fire. Makes certain changes to the Prescribed Fire Liability Pilot Program. Directs the Department of Consumer and Business Services to allow a person to apply for a grant under the Fire Hardening Grant Program on or before December 31, 2025. Directs the Department of Consumer and Business Services and the Department of the State Fire Marshal to report, on or before September 15, 2024, to committees or interim committees of the Legislative Assembly related to natural resources on a proposal for a proactive home hardening program. Takes effect on the 91st day following adjournment sine die.

HB 4103-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4103/Enrolled

Modifies the definition of electric assisted bicycle for purposes of the Oregon Vehicle Code. Adds definitions of Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3 electric assisted bicycles.

HB 4113-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4113/Enrolled

The Act applies to insurers and other entities that pay for drugs for people who have insurance. The Act requires insurers and others to count toward any costs that an insured person must pay for their drugs, the amounts paid from coupons or by other third parties. Requires an insurer, a pharmacy benefit manager and a health care service contractor to count payments made by or on behalf of an enrollee for the costs of certain prescription drugs when calculating the enrollee’s contribution to an out-of-pocket maximum, deductible, copayment, coinsurance or other required cost-sharing for the drugs.

HB 4122-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4122/Enrolled

The Act tells OSP to join the FBI’s Rap Back system for fingerprint criminal records checks. The Act says how agencies can use the Rap Back program. Directs the Department of State Police to establish a fingerprint retention system for participation in the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Rap Back system. Provides requirements for authorized agencies to participate in the Rap Back program. Takes effect on the 91st day following adjournment sine die.

HB 4147-En

https://olis.oregonlegislature.gov/liz/2024R1/Downloads/MeasureDocument/HB4147/Enrolled

Authorizes the use of stop arm cameras on school buses to record people who do not stop for bus safety lights. Permits an education provider to have stop arm cameras on school buses for the purpose of recording persons who fail to stop for bus safety lights. Permits a law enforcement agency to issue a citation for failure to stop for bus safety lights based on photographs or video if certain other conditions are met.

Oregon — Oregon Prescription Drug Affordability Board hosting community forums to hear how prescription drug costs affect Oregonians: The Oregon Prescription Drug Affordability Board (PDAB) is hosting a series of community forums to help the board with direction on how to move forward with the rising costs of prescription drugs.

PDAB was created out of Senate Bill 844 in 2021 to find ways to make prescription drugs more affordable for Oregonians by making recommendations to the Oregon Legislature. Later, Senate Bill 192 (2023) directed the board to develop a plan for establishing upper payment limits (UPL) on prescription drugs sold in Oregon and seek the public’s input on the effect of the rising costs of drugs in Oregon. An upper payment limit is a limit on what purchasers within the state will pay for specific drugs identified by the board.

PDAB staff members will facilitate the free meetings in April and May. Everyone is invited to attend, learn more about prescription drug costs, and tell their story of how costly prescriptions have affected their health, budget, and lives. Lou Savage, a past director of the Department of Consumer Business Services and former Oregon insurance commissioner, will be the moderator. He will present an overview of prescription drug pricing, explain why costs are high, and talk about the board’s work to make prescription drugs and insulin more affordable for Oregonians. The Woodburn meeting will be in Spanish. For questions, email pdab@dcbs.oregon.gov or call 971-374-3724.

“We believe it will be vital to take the time over the coming months to engage stakeholders on UPL methodologies, resources needed, how UPLs would be implemented and enforced,” said Ralph Magrish, executive director of PDAB. “This will allow us to bring back a plan and pathway that will create public value for Oregonians and help address drug affordability in our state in the most meaningful and inclusive way possible.”

There will be five in-person forums across the state:

 Portland – Tuesday, April 2, 6-8 p.m. Portland State Office Building, 800 NE Oregon S.

 Lincoln City – Tuesday, April 9, 6-8 p.m. Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Highway 101

 Woodburn – Monday, April 15, 5-7 p.m., Woodburn Public Library Multipurpose Room, 280 Garfield St., (Spanish speaking)

 Medford – Thursday, April 25, 6-8 p.m., Rogue Community College HEC, 101 S Bartlett St.

 Bend – Tuesday, April 30, 6-8 p.m., Deschutes County Library, 62080 Dean Swift Road

There will also be two online-only forums:

 Wednesday, May 8, noon to 2 p.m.

 Join ZoomGov Meeting: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1609683098?pwd= ZFVvNHdGV1dMYm5GWWQ1ZWlkcEl4UT09

 Meeting ID: 160 968 3098

 Passcode: OregonPDAB

 Dial by your location: 669 254 5252

 Tuesday, May 14, 6-8 p.m.

 Join ZoomGov Meeting: https://www.zoomgov.com/j/1617060370?pwd= YlhObURQRTcyTTJrSkx2ZjB0S3RUUT09

 Meeting ID: 161 706 0370

 Passcode: OregonPDAB

 Dial by your location: 669 254 5252

For more information, email pdab@dcbs.oregon.gov, call 971-374-3724, or go to dfr.oregon.gov/pdab.

Washington — Commissioner Kreidler urges insurers to modify claims process for wildfire victims: Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler on Wednesday sent a letter to insurers (PDF, 173.91 KB) urging them to consider loosening personal property claim filing requirements for victims of last summer’s Spokane County wildfires.

Insurance companies typically require policyholders to provide a full, itemized list of all personal property lost in the inciting incident to settle a claim.

In the letter, Kreidler asked insurers to adjust those requirements and allow for the grouping of like items for consideration — for example, listing “six sweaters,” rather than an individual size and make for each shirt.

“Unlike a normal house fire, a wildfire often completely consumes the residence and all it contains. This means people are unable to sort through the debris to find evidence of personal property loss and must rely on their memory to generate lists,” Kreidler wrote. “These wildfire victims have lost everything in their homes; an itemized list could easily be over 5,000 line items.”

Additionally, Kreidler requested insurers consider adopting the same procedure in Washington they use in neighboring states that have experienced devastating wildfire loss — provide people with a percentage of their policy’s total liability limits without requiring an itemized list of losses. Kreidler suggested policyholders should get at least 70% of their home’s personal property coverage, the same figure used in Oregon after a Governor’s emergency declaration.

The Gray and Oregon Road fires destroyed more than 350 homes in the Spokane area last August. President Joe Biden signed a federal disaster declaration for the area in February, unlocking FEMA Individual Assistance funding for victims (fema.gov). Kreidler’s office sent representatives to Medical Lake and Elk last week to help answer insurance questions from people impacted by the fires.

Source link: Washington Department of Insurance — https://bit.ly/4cdtW4V

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.


PIA WESTERN ALLIANCE VALUES OUR STERLING PARTNERS

More Industry News