Commissioner Poizner rejects lowered workers comp rate
increase request of 22.8% saying he hasn’t seen insurers
implement cost control measures that self-insured employers
have. Approves increase of an average 4%. >> Launches
first online rating report card for PPOs that allows consumers
to evaluate providers. >> Compensation Insurance Fund
files for 5% average rate increase for workers comp beginning
Jan. 1. >> Former commissioner John Garamendi has won a
special congressional election and will replace Rep. Ellen
Tauscher, who moved to the U.S. State Department. He is up for
election in November.
Barbara Kelley appointed executive director of
Department of Regulatory Agencies, replacing Rico Munn, who is
now executive director of Department of Higher Education.
>> Approves 9.7% decrease in workers comp loss costs
starting Jan. 1.
State Farm comes to agreement with Office of Insurance
Regulation. Insurer to stay in Florida but will non-renew about
15% of policies and raise rates 14.8%. Policyholders will be
given six months advance notice starting in August. State Farm
agents will also assist in placing cancelled business with
other private insurers.
Warns producers that providing services not listed on
an insurance contract at no cost to clients—including
prospective ones—is a violation of state law if the
services are a rebate on or inducement to purchase insurance.
Normal client services are exempted.
U.S. Court of Appeals overturns District Court decision
ruling that treaties are not an act of Congress within the
meaning of the McCarran-Ferguson Act. The lower court’s
decision allowed Louisiana law, which prohibits or restricts
arbitration in international insurance contracts, to dominate
in a case between a workers comp insurer and Lloyd’s.
Lloyd’s sought arbitration over a dispute about
assignment of rights. The appellate court ruled that the
Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign
Arbitral Awards trumps state law. An appeal is being
considered. >> As of Jan. 1, all non-resident licensing
and license renewal requests must be submitted electronically.
>> Katharine Rathburn is new medical director for state
Workers Compensation Corp.
Commissioner Ralph Tyler has resigned to take post as
chief counsel at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
>> Adopts NAIC’s State-Based Systems online tool to
monitor regulatory actions and compliance.
Data privacy law requiring laptops holding sensitive
data to be encrypted takes effect March 1.
State legislators propose banning insurers from using
credit history, education level and occupation for rate
setting. Proposed law also mandates insurance commissioner
sign-off on rate increases.
Fred Heese named director of the Division of Insurance
Company Regulation. He has been acting director since May 2007.
He now also leads the Kansas City regional office. >> Jim
Mealer appointed chief examiner for the Market Conduct Section
and leader of the St. Louis regional office. >> State
House member Brian Yates, R-Lee’s Summit and chairman of
the House Insurance Policy Committee, resigns seat to spend
more time with family. He could not run for re-election because
of term limits.
Farmers with hail policies from the state receive 30%
refund on premiums based on actuarial findings.