Two surplus lines bills have been sent to Gov.
Schwarzenegger for signature. Assembly Bill 1708 increases
minimum capital and surplus requirement for surplus lines
companies from $15 million to $45 million. Part of the capital
($25 million) would be held in forms meeting Department of
Insurance statutory requirements for general investments. The
balance would be held in financial instruments allowable under
the general investments law or the excess funds investments
law. Special minimums are set for surplus lines carriers that
are on the DOI’s LESLI list and don’t meet the
capital and surplus lines requirements imposed by A.B. 1708.
They must have at least $30 million of capital and surplus as
of Dec. 31, 2011, and at least $45 million of capital and
surplus by Dec. 31, 2013. The bill provides a staged transition
to the new requirements. It passed unanimously in the Senate
and Assembly. >> A.B. 1837 is the second surplus lines
bill passed unanimously and sent to the governor. It permits a
California domestic insurer to provide certain admin services
to an affiliated, non-admitted insurer that’s been
approved by the DOI to accept surplus lines placements.
>> In the so-called Guzman case, the 6th Appellate
District of California’s Court of Appeals rules that
physicians can apply clinical judgment to determine the
percentage of permanent disability in cases of injured
employees and that American Medical Assn. guidelines are not
absolute. >> Commissioner Steve Poizner is seeking nearly
$30 million this year in grants from the state to local
district attorneys for finding and prosecuting workers comp
fraud. Approval hinges on the state’s final budget.
>> The WC Rating Bureau has submitted a pure premium rate
filing to the insurance commissioner recommending a 29.6%
increase effective Jan. 1. >> Employers must now
distribute the updated workers compensation new-hire pamphlet
to all employees hired on or after Oct. 8. They must also post
the revised WC employee posting notices, provide updated Notice
of Potential Eligibility to injured workers, and post new
medical provider network notices if they use such a network.
Both insured and self-insured employers are subject to the
posting notice and pamphlet requirements.
Insurers and all licensees of the Insurance Department
must notify the insurance commissioner in writing via first
class mail, overnight delivery or email of any breach of
information that affects any Connecticut resident as soon as
the incident is identified but no later than five calendar days
after an occurrence is identified. See Bulletin IC-25.
The Office of Insurance Regulation is calling for data
from insurance companies to learn more about the epidemic of
sinkhole claims. Pasco and Hernando Counties, both north of
Tampa, account for over 80% of sinkhole claims in the state,
but insurers are seeing an increase across the board. The data
sought will help the state put concrete numbers behind the
Insurance Commissioner Carol Cutter died Sept. 6. Gov.
Mitchell Daniels Jr. appointed Cutter to the in June 2009. She
succeeded Jim Atterholt, who left for the Indiana Utility
Regulatory Commission. Stephen Robertson has been acting
commissioner since she took medical leave in June.
Insurers assessed $4 million to cover shortfall in
state-run Second Injury Fund. Payments were due Sept. 30.
>> National Council on Compensation Insurance has asked
for an average increase of 4.7% in voluntary rates and an
average 9.1% hike in assigned risk rates, effective Jan. 1 for
new and renewal policies.
Scott Kipper chosen as deputy commissioner for the
Office of Health in the Department of Insurance. He will
oversee all lines of health insurance, supplemental products
and the Senior Health Insurance Information Program. He held
this position from 2005 to 2007. Most recently, he was
Nevada’s commissioner of insurance.
State Appeals Court rules in Casco Bay Finance Co. v. Quincy Mutual Fire
Insurance Co. that the mortgagee cannot recoup rent lost
on a foreclosed, fire-damaged apartment building under the
mortgagor’s business owners policy. The court said that
the coverage is limited to actual loss of business income
sustained by the policyholder due to a necessary suspension of
his operations and is not for the benefit of the mortgagee.
Gov. Jay Nixon signs S.B. 583, giving the Department of
Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Regulation
authority to move in earlier, before an insurer is insolvent,
to promote rehabilitation over liquidation. Provisions in the
law are based on NAIC standards for deciding when an insurer is
in hazardous financial condition.
Legislators in January will undertake reform bill that
includes reductions for employer percentages of worker wages
for workers compensation insurance from the current 4% or more
to the national average of about 2%. The reforms would overhaul
the entire way doctors do WC business and would limit the role
of lawyers in disputes. It passed out of committee by unanimous
vote. Doctors and lawyers are ticked.
Ann Frohman, state insurance director, has resigned
effective Oct. 29 to pursue a career in the private sector. She
has worked for the state for 22 years and has been insurance
director since 2007.