Ill. Governor Signs Insurance Measures

August 15, 2003

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, signed insurance-related legislation dealing with the use of credit scores, commercial lines nonrenewals and uninsured motorist costs this week, according to the National Association of Independent Insurers.

“HB 3661 makes positive adjustments to the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) credit model bill that was signed into law in July to more accurately reflect Illinois’ rating law,” said Laura Kotelman, NAII legal counsel. “Under the NCOIL model, in order to consider the absence of credit information, insurers were required to justify their treatment of individuals with no credit history and obtain department approval. HB 3661 adjusts this provision so that insurers can simply file their justification with the department instead of having to await approval, putting the NCOIL credit model bill more in line with the Illinois regulatory system.”

NAII supported language to clarify the commercial lines policy nonrenewal law that is also included in HB 3661. The bill clarifies that if an insurer in the state plans to nonrenew a commercial policy, notice must be sent to the customer at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of the policy. It also addresses the proof of mailing requirements under this statute. The commercial lines nonrenewal language has an immediate effective date.

“SB 1207 was also signed by the governor and increases the binding arbitration level for uninsured motorist coverage from $20,000 to $50,000 per person, and from $40,000 to $100,000 per occurrence, or the corresponding policy limits, whichever is less,” Kotelman said. “Under current law, all automobile policies issued in Illinois must provide uninsured-motorist coverage and the disputes about that coverage must be submitted to arbitration. Also, the law increases the potential penalty from 25 percent to 60 percent of the loss amount at issue or $25,000 to $60,000 for unreasonable and vexatious delay by an insurer.”

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