NAMIC Pleased with S.D. Enacted Insurance Laws

March 30, 2005

What it lacked in controversy, the South Dakota Legislature made up for by addressing issues that matter to the everyday business of the property/casualty insurance industry, according to a representative of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

“Despite a session of only 40 days, the South Dakota Legislature, Insurance Commissioner Gary Steuck and Governor Mike Rounds are to be commended for their quick and decisive work on a myriad of issues important to insurance companies and insurance consumers alike,” said NAMIC State Affairs Manager Joe Thesing.

Among the 16 insurance-related bills enacted during the session that ended on March 22, three bills affect insurance producers.

Senate Bill 49 restricts the ability of insurance producers to pay or assign a commission, service fee, brokerage fee, or any other valuable consideration for a referral to any person not appropriately licensed. House Bill 1039 prohibits insurance producers from influencing witnesses to decline to testify or to testify falsely or withhold any testimony, in any examination, investigation or hearing conducted by the insurance department. The third producer-related bill, House Bill 1101, clarifies that captive agents can have non-compete clauses in their contracts.

Thesing noted that the Legislature also enacted two workers’ compensation bills. House Bill 1019 makes firefighters from nonprofit rural fire departments eligible for state workers’ comp coverage while Senate Bill 16 specifies that requests for a hearing to determine compensation must be in writing.

Other bills of note include:

· House Bill 1046, introduced by the Division of Insurance, allows the subject of a market conduct examination to make a written request for a copy of the examination report;

· House Bill 1094, which allows farm mutual companies to divide themselves into two or more farm mutuals;

· House Bill 1115, which requires that supplemental coverages be made available with automobile liability policies but no longer requires such coverages to be rejected in writing; and

· House Bill 1202, which establishes provisions to regulate salvage titles.

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