ARKANSAS Jay Bradford begins
as insurance commissioner. He was previously director of
Division of Behavioral Health with the state Department of
Human Services. Prior to that he worked in insurance for more
than 40 years and was the founder and chairman of First
Arkansas Insurance Group. >> A. Watson Bell appointed as
chair of Workers Compensation Commission.
Poizner proposes rollback of regulations prohibiting insurers
from offsetting group disability benefits to account for
pensions, workers comp or wages the policyholder receives.
Poizner argues that the regulations are duplicative and add a
layer of unnecessary red tape. Former commissioner and current
lieutenant governor John Garamendi, who drafted the regulations
in question, says their removal would be disastrous for control
over insurers. Supporters say the offset proposed by Poizner
would make disability coverage more affordable. >>
Poizner cuts department’s operational budget 10% without
layoffs, salary reductions or impact on mandated or critical
programs. >> Also cuts hundreds Department of Insurance
fees charged to small businesses, including insurance agents
and brokers, by 6%. First time since Prop. 103 that an elected
commissioner has cut fees. >> Poizner reduces special
fraud assessment charged to insurers from $5,100 to $2,100, a
$3.8 million savings for ratepayers.
COLORADO State House Bill
1012 proposes giving small businesses financial incentives to
participate in wellness and prevention programs, permitting
some of the rewards businesses lost when lawmakers prohibited
premium discounts for small businesses with healthy workers
back in 2007. It is moving through committee.
FLORIDA State Farm pulls
out of the state p-c market citing rising costs and the
inability to obtain rate increases from the Office of Insurance
Regulation. >> Commissioner McCarty approves 6.4% workers
comp rate increase, lower than the 8.9% request from the
National Council on Compensation Insurance.
LOUISIANA Paul Boudreaux,
Jr. named director of Insurance Fraud Section at the Department
of Insurance, replacing Trent Beach who moved to director of
p-c division. Boudreaux is a lawyer who has served as a special
assistant attorney general. >> State breaks ground on
three-mile stretch of the Morganza-to-the-Gulf hurricane
protection system in Chauvin that includes 10-foot dirt levees.
Projected completion is July 2010.
MARYLAND Look for upcoming
legislation to address problems generated by a 2008 Maryland
Court of Appeals decision that declared that the Maryland
Condominium Act does not require the condominium
association’s master insurance policy to cover damage to
an individual unit, instead having it covered by an
owner’s individual policy. ISO is involved in the
formation of the bill. >> U.S. District Court dismisses
former CareFirst CEO William Jews’s lawsuit that
challenged Maryland insurance commissioner Ralph Tyler’s
reduction of Jews’s post-termination compensation, from
almost $18 million to around $9 million.
MONTANA Legislature looks
to limit the liability of recreational businesses, such as
whitewater rafting and skiing, saying the providers can’t
be responsible for inherent risks of thrill-seeking activities.
Similar legislation exists in Wyoming. The Trial Lawyers
Association opposes the bill.
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