Midwest Legislative Sessions Focus on Auto, Credit, Tort Reform

February 8, 2008

The Washington, D.C.-based the American Insurance Association (AIA) says state legislative sessions opening across the Midwest will see a focuc on proposals dealing with workers’ compensation, liability reform, auto insurance and credit-based insurance scoring..

“Preserving competitive marketplaces and defeating measures that are punitive or restrict operational efficiencies are at the heart of our 2008 Midwestern government affairs efforts, which ultimately benefit consumers,” said Steve Schneider, AIA vice president, Midwest Region. “We face a number of challenging political environments and being in the midst of a highly a competitive election year will also be a hurdle to accomplishing our goals.”

Specific legislation the AIA said it is monitoring and supporting this spring includes SB 901 in Missouri, which attempts to fix the Schoemehl state Supreme Court decision that essentially turned certain workers’ compensation benefits into a life insurance-like benefit for descendants of deceased injured workers. Additionally, AIA continues to advocate for the abolishment of the state’s outdated Second Injury Fund, as 20 other states have done.

The AIA also said it will continue to push for some form of venue reform in Illinois that would help to codify two recent state Supreme Court decisions that clearly recognized out of state cases, involving non-residents, have no business in Illinois’ courts.

In Michigan, HB 5565, which would enact the National Conference of Insurance Legislator’s (NCOIL) Model Act on Credit in personal lines insurance (this model law is aleady law in 26 states) and HB 4702, a bill that would allow for more choices in Personal Injury Protection (PIP) are supported; while in Minnesota, AIA will back continued efforts to reform the current no-fault system in an effort to lower overall costs. Additionally regarding credit, AIA is focused on defeating onerous legislation to prohibit insurer use of credit in the form of Nebraska’s LB 900.

The AIA Midwest Regional office is located in downtown Chicago and staff manage public policy advocacy in 11 area states.

Source: AIA

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