State Compensation Insurance Fund names Shaun Coyne
chief information officer. He was VP and CIO of Toyota
Financial Services in Torrance, Calif. >> Commissioner
Poizner probes insurer ties to Iran and encourages fellow
regulators to do the same. California law prohibits insurers
based in the state from investing in countries designated as
state sponsors of terrorism. Poizner looking at level of
indirect as well as direct investments.
Fight between lawmakers and state workers comp insurer
continues. Legislature heard dozens of complaints of unfair
claims practices and says more oversight is needed. Bills are
under consideration. Pinnacol, the insurer, says it’s
sour grapes because the profitable company wouldn’t hand
over some $680 million in surplus to help balance the state
Signs memorandum of understanding with Bermuda Monetary
Authority to establish formal basis for consultation,
cooperation and coordination on sharing of information on
insurance companies of mutual interest.
Workers comp rates drop for fifth consecutive year.
Request filed for 4.1% decrease affects premiums beginning Jan.
Has begun accepting producer documents through new NIPR
Reporting of Actions feature in its Attachments Warehouse
online reporting system. Documentation received via this portal
will satisfy statutory reporting requirements in the state.
Names Larry Ferachi, M.D., as medical director for
Office of Workers Compensation. His appointment is another step
toward establishing evidence-based medical treatment guidelines
for workers comp benefits, which are intended to aid dispute
resolutions and reduce the time injured employees spend out of
work. >> Upcoming Corp of Engineers rating, expected to
be “unacceptable,” on Ouachita River levee system
could lead to de-certification of the system by FEMA. Such an
action would mean Monroe property owners would be required to
buy federal flood insurance. There are numerous bank cave-ins
along the levee, but there’s no money for repairs.
Commissioner Nonnie Burnes resigns to accept senior
fellow position at Northeastern University, where she will help
develop curriculum focused on government regulation, public
policy, law and business. Joseph Murphy is serving as acting
commissioner. >> Sets up website that allows users to
verify proof of workers comp insurance for businesses.
Thirty-six other states have similar sites.
Joins NAIC Web-based application, SBS, to regulate
insurance functions. It also signs up for OPTins, an NAIC tool
to automate regulatory compliance and facilitate the collection
of premium taxes.
Insurance Department’s broker transparency rule
nears approval. Requires producers to notify buyers of their
right to request information on comp from insurers. Opponents
complain brokerages would have to overhaul their systems to
comply with the disclosure rules. Proponents want producers to
disclose compensation automatically, without client requests.
>> Dennis Hayes appointed special deputy superintendent
of the Liquidation Bureau. >> Insurance Department
revises export list of hard-to-place p-c coverage adding
several lines that require no declinations, such as commercial
excess liability where underlying policy limit or self-insured
retention is at least $10 million per occurrence. Adds
liability coverage for lawyers employed by a business entity,
not a law firm. Changes declination requirement for primary or
excess E&O to two refusals.
Enacts new law allowing businesses that use
professional employer organizations to sponsor their own
benefit plans. Regulation and oversight of self-funded plans