PCI: Strong Efforts Yield Results as Vt. Legislature Winds Down; Flood Insurance, Fraud Discussed

June 7, 2005

Thanks to a year of strong efforts from insurance advocates, the Vermont General Assembly ended on a positive, yet uneventful note for insurers according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI).

“During the first year of Vermont’s biennial legislative session, lawmakers did their part to consider legislation that will increase the availability of insurance and marketplace competition, while rejecting proposals that would hinder those efforts,” said Frank O’Brien, regional vice president for PCI.

On Saturday, June 4, the Vermont Legislature wrapped up the first year of its biennial session. While no significant insurance-related legislation passed, PCI and allies successfully fought bills that would hamper progress of the state insurance market. The following is a summary of some of those key insurance-related bills.

Executive Fees Increase
While House Bill 130, relating to the increase of certain executive branch fees, passed, the amendment to increase the fees an insurance company would pay to obtain consumers’ DMV reports did not pass.

Credit Scoring and Security Breach
Senate Bill 61, which would have increased the regulation and rules regarding the use of credit for underwriting personal insurance did not pass. Proposed amendments to the bill also contained provisions regarding security breaches that would have placed excessive restrictions and unnecessary requirements on insurance companies relative to personal information

Flood Insurance
House Bill 229, which would have made it an unfair or deceptive practice not to disclose to a homeowner’s insurance applicant what flood zone the home the applicant intends to insure is located in, also did not pass.

Insurance Fraud
Time ran out for House Bill 150, which received unanimous approval from the House Commerce Committee and was subsequently referred to the House Judiciary Committee. However, efforts to resume consideration will be taken up next year.

“Thanks to solid actions by PCI and our members, insurers, agents and consumers will continue to enjoy an open and competitive market,” added O’Brien.

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