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Regulatory News

The Oct. 17 meeting of the Workers Compensation Review and Advisory Committee will be held at the Sheraton Anchorage Hotel in Anchorage at noon. www.commerce.state.ak.us/ins/pub/WC_Review_Advisory_Committee.pdf

The insurance department Web page now has consumer information on insurance coverage for wildfires. www.id.state.az.us/consumermore.html#wildfire

As part of efforts to make disability income insurance provide more certain benefits to workers, Commissioner Steve Poizner makes settlement with Hartford Life Insurance that provides that its policies in California will no longer contain controversial discretionary clause language. “The discretionary clause gives an insurer complete discretion when determining whether an injured worker is entitled to benefits,” says Commissioner Poizner. “This settlement means that going forward The Hartford will use the new policy language to determine claim benefits.” The Department intends to apply the settlement terms to all disability income policies sold in the state. The settlement requires carriers to obtain only information necessary to evaluate whether to accept or deny a claim; make a determination of the claimant’s eligibility for benefits based on the new policy language; and if denying the claim, explain in writing the basis for the decision. www.insurance.ca.gov/

Steve White is named director of the Bureau of Company Examination, Regulation and Guaranty (BERG) in the Department of Insurance. BERG is responsible for analyzing the financial condition of carriers. When necessary, BERG manages, rehabilitates or liquidates financially-impaired insurers. A 13-year employee of the department, White most recently held the post of BERG CFO and had been serving as acting director.
“Steve White will use his experience to maintain Delaware’s reputation as a thorough and fair regulator of insurance companies,” says Commissioner Matt Denn.

Commissioner Kevin McCarthy appoints Mary Beth Senkewicz as deputy commissioner of life and health; Belinda Miller, as deputy commissioner of property and casualty insurance after serving as interim since October 2006; and Audrey Sumrall Brown as new deputy chief of staff. She will oversee cabinet affairs, market research, issues involving the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and other administrative functions. www.floir.com/PressReleases/index.asp

The Department of Financial and Professional Regulation has made anti-fraud workers compensation posters available on its Web site.

The annual reports of the Indiana Patients Compensation Fund and the Indiana Residual Malpractice Insurance Authority are available on the insurance department Web site.

The insurance department is considering filing legislation to amend statutory provisions that govern maximum permitted deviations in workers compensation rating.

Bulletin 07-01 concerns a statement of principals governing commercial and personal lines motor vehicle repairs. www.ldi.la.gov/newlegaldocs.htm

Commissioner George Dale defeated in a Democratic primary by government relations political consultant Gary Anderson. Dale was commissioner for 32 years. Lost 49%-51%. Anderson faces Republican challenger Mike Cheney in November.

A new law gives the state Labor Department authority to investigate premium disputes relating to the definition of an employee versus independent contractor.

New law prohibits a standard commercial auto insurance provision that reduces uninsured and underinsured coverage on an individual not listed as a named insured under the business policy but is insured by another policy with less coverage.

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