Oregon Seeking Comments on Insurer Assessments

July 23, 2007

Oregon’s Department of Consumer and Business Services is seeking public comments on its proposed amendment of the state’s administrative rules relating to assessments against insurers to fund regulatory functions under the insurance code.

The rulemaking implements recently enacted legislation (HB 3484), which amended ORS 731.804. That law authorized DCBS to assess a premium on Oregon insurance policies to fund DCBS’s regulatory functions under the Insurance Code.

Assessments are imposed against premium from life insurance, health insurance and property and casualty insurance, according to the portion of Insurance Division resources needed for regulating
each of these insurance categories. ORS 731.804 has included an exemption from the assessment for premium from certain types of insurance, such as annuities and workers’ compensation insurance. The costs of regulating the life insurance and annuity portion of the industry have been borne entirely by issuers of life insurance.

The published amendment eliminates the exemption from assessment that has applied to annuity premium. This rulemaking makes a conforming change to the Insurance Division’s rule that implements the assessment authority. This legislation and rulemaking will not allow the Division to collect more assessment
dollars than in the past, but rather will reallocate the payment of the life insurance premium portion of the total assessment. The assessment will now be spread more broadly across life insurance and annuity premium rather than on life insurance premium alone. This reallocation is necessary because annuities today make up more
than 65 percent of the total life and annuity premium and because substantial staff resources are required to regulate annuity products, DCBS said.

The last day for public comment is Aug. 24, 2007. For information, visit www.cbs.state.or.us/ins/rules/prop_admin_rules.html.

Source: DCBS

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