Ind. Session Ends With Status Quo for Insurers

May 6, 2003

The 2003 Indiana legislative session came to a close recently with little impact on the property and casualty insurance industry, according to a statement released by a trade group. The only substantial property/casualty insurance measure that passed in was credit-based insurance scoring legislation that advanced during the twilight hours of the session, which ended April 26.

Robert Hurns, a lawyer for the National Association of Independent Insurers said the industry successfully fought off several other bills that would have been more restrictive of credit scoring and increased the cost of doing business in the Hoosier state. NAII, based in suburban Chicago, represents more than 700 property/casualty insurers.

Indiana Senate Bill 178, based upon the National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ (NCOIL) insurance scoring model act, emerged from conference committee and passed the Senate and House by the end of April 26.

Initially, it appeared that SB 178 would not survive the session, mired in conference committee because of one representative’s determination to keep in language that would indemnify agents for all underwriting errors.

In the end, the indemnification language was amended to only encompass the use of credit information, not other errors that did not pertain to credit, and was sent to the governor for his signature.

In Indiana, once a bill reaches the governor’s office, the governor has seven days to take action by either signing or vetoing a bill, or letting the legislation become law without his signature.

Other proposals in Indiana addressing insurance scoring, specifically HB 1187, HB 1213, HB 1323, HB 1406, and HB 1634, died during the session. Also during the final days of the Indiana session, an insurance coalition effort dissuaded the legislature from removing funds from the Insurance Guaranty Association as a possible revenue source for the budget.

Legislators also introduced proposals encompassing workers’ compensation, cancellation notice, motor vehicle reporting requirements, producer licensing, premium reduction, surplus requirements, red light cameras, domestic abuse, financial responsibility requirements and the Uniform Arbitration Act. None of these bills were enacted.

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