Poizner rejects Workers Compensation Insurance Rating
Bureau’s 16% rate increase request but accepts 5% hike to
reflect growth in medical and claims costs to the system.
Although his decision isn’t binding, workers comp
carriers will likely apply his recommendation to their January
rates. >> Heather Lambert appointed deputy commissioner
for community relations. She most recently served in the
California Lottery commission.
COLORADO Workers comp loss
costs down 16%, totaling a 43.4% decline since 2000 and the
seventh decrease in eight years.
DELAWARE Voters elect
first-term insurance regulator Karen Weldin Stewart, Democrat.
Incumbent Matt Denn ran for and won as lieutenant governor.
FLORIDA Approves National
Council on Compensation Insurance’s filing for an 18.6%
cut in workers comp rates, the sixth consecutive year of
decreases. Limits on attorney fees in workers comp cases are
credited as a primary cause of the drop in rates. The
cumulative rate drop, inclusive of 2009, exceeds 60%. Beware,
though: A recent state Supreme Court ruling allows for
increased attorney participation in workers comp cases and may
lead to an amended filing that reverses some of the reductions.
>> John McBride appointed as legislative affairs director
of the Office of Insurance Regulation. He most recently served
as chief performance officer at the Department of Business and
IDAHO Adds National
Insurance Producer Registry service so agents can now apply for
and renew licenses online using the Department of
Insurance’s Web site link to NIPR.
IOWA Appoints state’s
first consumer advocate for insurance, Angela Robinson, who
will lead a new bureau within the Iowa Insurance Division.
KANSAS Insurance Department
says customers who paid premiums to Brooke agents and agencies
are considered to have coverage. If they receive a cancellation
notice, they are to provide the carrier with proof of payment.
The Department, however, has notified the public that it
doesn’t have regulatory oversight in contractual matters
between Brooke and its franchisees, many of whom are going
under because of lack of payment on commissions and rents.
LOUISIANA Efforts to
attract private market back to state pay off. Forty percent
reduction in Citizens’ business touted as exemplary, and
systemic problems encountered in the first half of the year
have been addressed. Citizens approved a 2009 rate average
increase of 14%. Policyholders who approve their own migration
to a private carrier avoid the hikes.
MAINE Voters repeal tax
increases passed earlier in the year and designed to buttress
struggling state-subsidized health insurance coverage,
DirigoChoice. Previous method of assessing insurers is
MINNESOTA Department of
Commerce slaps Duluth agent and agency for $5,000 between them
for running a newspaper ad soliciting current AIG policyholder
business by questioning the insurer’s health. Other
potential violators are being investigated.
MISSISSIPPI Commissioner of
Insurance Mike Chaney approves Nationwide’s Wind
Mitigation Discount Program, the first of its kind in the
state. It takes effect in April and offers discounts based on
home construction features that protect against wind damage.
The discount applies to about 12,000 Nationwide policyholders
in Jackson, Hancock, Harrison, George, Pearl River and Stone
counties who currently have qualifying coverage. Commissioner
Chaney says he will seek $25–35 million from tax base for
grants to homeowners to reinforce houses against wind.
MONTANA Elects Democrat
Monica Lindeen as first-term top insurance regulator.
Incumbent, also Democrat, could not run because of term
NEW JERSEY Holds first
audit of New Jersey’s Compensation Rating and Inspection
Bureau and finds bureau chief has charged $55,000 for travel,
meals and candy. He says he has reimbursed the bureau for all
NEW YORK Insurance
Superintendent Eric Dinallo gives insurance carriers one year
to implement new procedures to assure contract certainty on
large commercial policies written on a manuscript basis, as per
Circular Letter No. 20. (Standardized forms are already subject
to regulatory approval.) Carriers and brokers are to finalize
all terms of 90% of policies that are not subject to more
stringent requirements within 30 days of inception and are to
document exceptions and extensions. >> Twenty medical
providers who are outside the state’s
“participating provider” program for state and
local government employees submitted inflated claims to the New
York State Health Insurance Plan after attracting the patients
by not charging the “out-of-pocket” fees that would
normally be associated with going to a non-plan provider. Four
have now joined the state’s Empire Plan as participating
providers. >> Insurance Department licenses Australian
Macquarie Group’s newly formed bond insurer, allowing it
to insure municipal and infrastructure debt. Municipal and
Infrastructure Assurance Corp.’s license was fast-tracked
by the Department.
Full Leader's Edge Archive. Previously published articles, listed by subject below.