As the insurance industry continues to evolve and adapt to the world around us, states are tackling an array of legislation and programs to help residents and policyholders get the support they need. Here’s a roundup of states with recent legislative changes that are impacting the insurance industry:
Washington’s credit score ban struck down in court
The credit score ban in Washington state was struck down in early October. An APCIA stated that the insurance commissioner lacked the authority to ban credit history, and his initial emergency rule was stopped because there was no emergency regarding the use of credit history. The insurance commissioner stated that he would continue to fight to permanently ban credit scoring and is considering his options.
Maryland’s uninsured motorist fine forgiveness program ends
FineFix, Maryland’s uninsured motorist fine forgiveness program officially ended in July 2021. This program allowed eligible drivers to pay 20% of their outstanding uninsured motorist fines and have the remaining 80% forgiven, supporting 20,000 participants in the past two years.
Oregon blocks insurers from setting policy stacking limitations
Oregon’s Supreme Court ruled that P&C insurers aren’t allowed to impose payment limitations for uninsured motorist coverage when multiple policies could cover a single claimant or several policies are involved in a claim. The court wrote, “coverage under every policy must provide for payment of sums that the insured is legally entitled to recover as damages’ up to the declared limit of liability.”
California demands increased coverage for homeowners’ insurance
The insurance commissioner in California ordered the expansion of FAIR Plan coverage beyond wildfire protection in late September. The commissioner also issued a moratorium on policy cancellations for more than 325,000 policyholders affected by this summer’s wildfires to give them breathing room as they recover.
Louisiana hopes the new NFIP program will entice carriers to offer policies in the state
In addition to the recent changes in the NFIP program, Louisiana’s state commissioner approved an act that eliminates the need for flood insurers to get prior approval for the rates they charge in hopes that it would encourage private-sector insurance companies to offer flood policies in the state. The commissioner hopes to see an increase in the number of private alternatives to the NFIP and an increase in residents purchasing flood policies.