Auto Insurance, Workers’ Comp Emerge as Leading Issue Trends Among 2002’s New P/C Laws

February 26, 2003

New state laws concerning workers’ compensation and automobile insurance make up the majority of the property/casualty-related insurance laws enacted by state legislatures last year, according to an analysis of trends in new state insurance legislation published by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

“NAMIC has placed online a summary of the 239 new property/casualty-related laws enacted in 44 states during 2002,” Roger Schmelzer, vice president-regulatory affairs, said.

Some very distinct issue trends emerge from the many new state insurance laws enacted during 2002. The 60 new auto insurance laws identified in the NAMIC survey account for the single largest issue trend among the property/casualty-related laws enacted in 2002. The survey also identifies 45 new workers’ compensation laws, making this the second most common issue trend.

“Together, these two categories account for nearly half of the new property/casualty laws covered in this report,” Schmelzer continued. “Some other very distinct issue trends in the survey include new laws pertaining to licensure, insurance scoring, financial regulations and rate and form regulation.”

California enacted the greatest number of new laws in the survey with 15. Florida had 12. Arizona and Colorado approved 11 each. Washington passed 10 new laws. Minnesota and Oklahoma each approved nine new property/casualty laws.

At the other end of the scale, there were no new significant property/casualty laws approved in Indiana last year. Montana and Ohio passed just one new significant property/casualty law each. Alabama, Delaware, Hawaii, Mississippi, New Jersey and Wyoming each enacted only two new laws.

In addition to auto and workers’ comp, the survey identified 22 distinct issue trends. Among them:

· 18 licensure laws enacted in 15 states,
· 12 insurance scoring laws enacted in 11 states,
· 10 financial regulation laws enacted in 8 states,
· 10 laws concerning investment tax credits enacted in 7 states, and
· 10 laws regulating rates and forms enacted in 9 states.

NAMIC’s Survey of 2002 State Insurance Laws identifies a number of other important new law issue trends as well—including state building codes, captive insurers, electronic commerce, fraud, mold, premium finance arrangements, privacy/disclosure, tax issues, records retention, structured settlements, telephone marketing, unfair trade practices, uniform arbitration, and uniform commercial code changes.

This is the fourth consecutive year NAMIC has released an analysis of new property/casualty-related law trends. The full report is a value-added service available to NAMIC members.

A summary of NAMIC’s 2002 Survey of New State Insurance Laws is available to the public as a featured link at NAMIC Online.

“Based on its consistent web traffic popularity over the past three years, we are excited to be able to announce the posting and availability of the survey of 2002 laws,” Schmelzer added. “This report is comprehensive and features a complete summary analysis of the major new law trends and separate state and issue specific listings with descriptions and hot links to the complete text of each new measure.”

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